Interstim - Sacral Nerve Stimulation

What is Interstim? 

With sacral nerve stimulation, a small device is surgically implanted to stimulate your sacral nerve with mild electrical pulses. The sacral nerve controls your bladder and the muscles related to urinary function.

Sacral nerve stimulation is used to treat the symptoms of overactive bladder, including URGE INCONTINENCE, URGENCY-FREQUENCY, AND URINARY RETENTION. If you have not experienced success with more conservative treatments, this reversible treatment may be a good option.

Sacral nerve stimulation may help you resume normal activities, and avoid frustrating experiences associated with urinary urge incontinence, urgency-frequency, and non-obstructive urinary retention.

How is the treatment performed?

First, the test stimulation is done.  The trial assessment involves placement of a thin wire worn in your back. The wire is connected to a small stimulator, which you'll wear on a belt. The stimulator will send mild electrical pulses through the thin wire to one of your sacral nerves, and those pulses may get your bladder working the way it's supposed to. During the trial assessment, which typically lasts 3 to 7 days, you can continue many of your daily activities with caution.

If trial stimulation is successful, placement of a permanent device is performed.

What are the benefits of Interstim therapy?

Sacral nerve stimulation is reversible and can be discontinued at any time. Many people with sacral nerve stimulation have reported:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Freedom to live without worry of leaks

What are the risks of the treatment?

As with any medical treatment, sacral nerve stimulation may cause you to experience some of these side effects:

  • Pain at the implant site
  • Lead movement
  • Infection or skin irritation
  • Technical problems
  • Jolting or shocking stimulation
  • Adverse changes in bowel function
  • Numbness at the neuro-stimulator site

Undesirable stimulation or sensations