This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic bladder control therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation), delivered by the InterStimTM system, for the treatment of bladder control problems. Please bear in mind that the experience is specific to this particular person. Not everyone who receives Medtronic bladder control therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story.
I've always been active, but when my prostate became enlarged about five years ago, it triggered a series of bladder problems that made it difficult to do the everyday activities I enjoy.
After doctors removed a portion of my prostate that was blocking my urine flow, I experienced episodes where I couldn't empty my bladder completely.
My name is Joe, and thankfully I bounced back from these bladder issues, but for a while I thought I had lost all use of my bladder.
Using a catheter definitely slowed me down. It interfered with my running and interrupted my productivity at work.
Lucky for me, the catheter was just temporary. My urologist had prescribed InterStim for several of his patients, who experienced relief of their symptoms. He was confident I too would benefit from it.
My trial experience was a very straightforward outpatient procedure at my local urology clinic. It took about half an hour.
My urologist told me he was looking for an 80% improvement. I did better than that: I demonstrated 95% improvement (versus my use of a catheter), which meant I was definitely a candidate for long-term therapy.
Impressed with these results, I decided to move forward with long-term therapy.
When my doctor removed my temporary leads, I immediately lost my ability to urinate on my own. I was all right again once the permanent therapy was put in place, proving to me that InterStim was indeed the correct choice.
After the procedure I didn't need any pain medication, and I experienced no side effects. A few weeks later I came down with a bacterial infection and had to cath myself briefly.
InterStim has restored my ability to tell when I need to go. The outcome, as well as the entire experience, has met my expectations. I've had no second thoughts or doubts; in fact, everything was just as I thought it would be.
No longer fettered by a catheter, I'm back to running long races. And now that we're retired, my wife and I are looking forward to lots of cross-country road trips. No doubt we'll be getting to our destinations faster now that I don't need to stop every hour to take a bathroom break.
Medtronic invited this patient to share his story candidly. Not everyone who receives Medtronic bladder control therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if sacral neuromodulation is right for you. In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications associated with the InterStimTM system can include pain at the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration, device problems, interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment such as MRI, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling), and others. Surgery is required to remove the InterStimTM system. Please refer to Important Safety Information. Always discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your physician. This therapy is not for everyone. A prescription is required.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.