DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT BOWEL CONTROL THERAPY?

You’re not alone. You’re taking the right steps to get the relief you seek, but it’s only natural to want to know every detail before getting started. You can find everything you need to know, right here.

WHERE WILL YOUR JOURNEY TAKE YOU?

Get a quick overview of how you can live without limits.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT Bowel CONTROL THERAPY DELIVERED BY THE INTERSTIMTM SYSTEM

Q: What is Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim system?

A: This therapy is an implantable device that targets the nerves that control your bowel to help it function normally again.

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INTERSTIM™ II AND INTERSTIM™ MICRO SYSTEMS?

A: Both are designed to deliver effective symptom relief through sacral neuromodulation. The InterStim™ II system is a recharge-free device, while the InterStim™ Micro system is rechargeable.

Q: HOW DO THE INTERSTIM™ SYSTEMS WORK?

A: Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim™ systems restores bowel function by gently stimulating the sacral nerves.*

Q: WHY DO THEY TREAT THE SACRAL NERVES?

A: Doctors believe that bowel control problems are caused by miscommunication between the brain and the sacral nerves, which are located in the lower back and control the bowel and related muscles.1

Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INTERSTIM™ THERAPY?

A: With this therapy, you may experience fewer accidents and more confidence as you get back to the activities you enjoy.2

Q: WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OR COMPLICATIONS?

A: Choosing to have an InterStim™ system implanted has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.

Q: WILL THIS THERAPY CURE MY CONDITION?

A: No. It can be effective, but it’s not a cure. If the neurostimulator is turned off or removed, symptoms can return.

Q: HOW LONG DOES THE RELIEF LAST?

A: Everyone's experience of relief is different, so it is difficult to generalize. What we can say is that in a clinical study, our therapy improved quality of life for people with fecal incontinence for five years.†,2

Q: WHAT DOES THE STIMULATION FEEL LIKE?

A: Most people describe it as a slight pulling, tingling, or fluttering sensation in the pelvic area. The stimulation is always adjustable, and should not be painful.

Q: WHY IS THIS THERAPY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER OPTIONS?

A: You can try it before you decide, and it’s reversible if you change your mind later.

Q: WILL I BE ABLE TO GET AN MRI WITH THE INTERSTIM SYSTEMS?

A: Yes, you can have a full-body MRI scan under certain conditions. Your clinician can provide more details about these conditions, as well as safety information.

Q: WILL INSURANCE COVER THE COSTS?

A: Medicare and many private insurance companies cover this therapy. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your insurance coverage.

REAL PEOPLE,  REAL RELIEF 

Hear from people who have successfully reduced their symptoms with help from Medtronic bowel control therapy.

READ PATIENT STORIES

SPEAK WITH SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS 

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Medtronic InterStim bowel control therapy patient smiling.

RESOURCES

FOR PEOPLE EXPLORING MEDTRONIC BOWEL CONTROL THERAPY

pdf Bowel Symptom Diary (.pdf)

Record your symptoms to help your doctor understand your condition.

182KB

pdf Doctor Discussion Guide (.pdf)

Starting the conversation can be hard. This guide can help you talk to your doctor more easily.

153KB

pdf Patient Ambassador Program  (.pdf)

Learn more about the patient ambassador program for Medtronic bowel control therapy.

182KB

pdf Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy (.pdf)

Understand your options and decide if our therapy is right for you with the patient education brochure.

8.6MB

START YOUR Journey

Bowel control problems affect millions of people. But relief is closer than you think.

SEE THE STEPS
Female doctor who specializes in Medtronic bowel control therapy using the InterStim system.

TALK TO A BOWEL CONTROL EXPERT

Speak with a doctor in your community who can help you find the right treatment.

FIND A SPECIALIST
*

With the InterStim™ system, restored bowel function is defined as 50% or greater reduction in chronic fecal incontinence episodes.

In addition to risks related to surgery, complications can include pain at the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration, device problems, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, and uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling). Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.

Under certain conditions.

1

Patton V, Wiklendt L, et al. The effect of sacral nerve stimulation on distal colonic motility in patients with fecal incontinence. Br J Surg. 2013 Jun;100(7):959-68.

2

Hull T, Giese C, Wexner SD, et al. Long-term Durability of Sacral Nerve Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2013; 56(2):234-45.

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.