Find the answers you need about therapies that can help you experience life-changing relief.
Q: What is Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim system?
A: This therapy directly targets the nerves that are thought to control your bowel to help it function normally again.
Q: How does it work?
A: Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim™ system controls the symptoms of chronic FI by gently stimulating the sacral nerves.
Q: Why does it treat the sacral nerves?
A: It's thought that bowel control problems are caused by miscommunication between the brain and the sacral nerves, which control the bowel and related muscles.1
Q: What are the benefits of this 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: Implanting an InterStim system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.
Q: What makes this therapy different than other options?
A: You can try it before you decide, and it's reversible if you change your mind later.
Q: Does the therapy work long-term?
A: This therapy significantly improves quality of life for people with chronic FI treated for 5 years.2 Your experience may be different.
Q: Will this therapy cure my condition?
A: No. It can help some people achieve complete continence2, but it's not a cure. If the neurostimulator is turned off or removed, symptoms can return.
Q: What does the stimulation feel like?
A: Most people describe it as a slight pulling, tingling, or fluttering sensation in the pelvic area. It should not be painful. Stimulation settings can be adjusted, and sensations will vary from person to person.
Q: Can I get an MRI when I receive this therapy?
A: Getting an MRI head scan may be possible under specific conditions. For more information, talk with your doctor.
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.
Q: How long has this therapy been around?
A: Since its approval in 2011, InterStim therapy has been used to treat bowel control problems in hundreds of thousands of patients around the world.
Bowel Symptom Diary
Record your symptoms to help your doctor understand your condition.
Care Pathway for Bowel Control
Understand all of your treatment options for dealing with bowel control issues.
Doctor Discussion Guide
Starting the conversation can be hard. This guide can help you talk to your doctor.
Learn how to talk to a Patient Ambassador for Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy.
Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy
Understand your options and decide if Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy is right for you.
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.
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.