This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation), delivered by the InterStimTM system, for the treatment of chronic fecal incontinence. Please bear in mind that the experience is specific to this particular person. Not everyone who receives Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story.
Bouts of diarrhea were the first sign that something was wrong. Terry would experience episodes at any time of day, sometimes with warning and sometimes without. Thinking she had a stomach virus, she did her best to ignore the situation. Unfortunately, it got worse.
"I started making up excuses so I wouldn't have to go out, and that's not like me. I'm outgoing and enjoy being social," she says.
After several failed treatment options, a specialist finally determined that Terry's bowel control issues were caused by a lack of control resulting from childbirth and a history of obesity, although she had lost the weight. The same specialist also told her about Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy and how it might help her.
Terry was excited that there was a treatment that could provide long-term relief. She had a screening test, also called an evaluation, to see if she was a candidate for the procedure. It was successful, and she went on to have the InterStim system placed in November 2012.
"I was in and out of the hospital in the same day," she says. "At home, I felt a little pain at the incision site but I didn't need any pain medication."
Terry is back to an active lifestyle. "My life has totally turned around," she says. She regularly walks and swims for exercise, and doesn't give any thought to the location of the nearest bathroom.
"The more people I've talked to the more I realize how common this situation is in women, but we keep it private," she says. "I want to share my story so women realize they don't have to be ashamed. There's something that can be done."
Terry is looking forward to time spent outside this summer. "I see myself riding bikes, swimming, and doing things I was afraid to do before," she says. "I'm excited for the future!"
Medtronic invited this patient to share her story candidly. Not everyone who receives Medtronic Bowel 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 InterStim 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 InterStim 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.