InterStim Therapy at a glance
The root cause of overactive bladder and urge incontinence are the sacral nerve roots, which control the muscle impulses that cause the bladder to expand and contract.
- InterStim is an FDA-approved surgical implant device used to treat bladder incontinence and overactive bladder.
- The device works by sending mild electric pulses to control symptoms such as leaks and urge incontinence.
- InterStim can be reversed or discontinued at any time during therapy.
About InterStim Therapy
In the case of individuals with bladder control problems, InterStim sends mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, located just above the tailbone. This small neuro-stimulator is implanted below the skin through a minor incision and attached to a soft wire that extends near the tailbone.
The pulses from the neuro-transmitter work in much the same way as a heart pacemaker reducing and regulating the signals given off by the sacral nerve. This helps to control symptoms such as leaks, the sudden urge to go, and over active bladder that are all caused by the overstimulation of the sacral nerve.
When is InterStim Therapy recommended for urinary incontinence?
Bladder incontinence is commonly regulated using non-invasive pharmaceutical measures that target the bladder muscles themselves. InterStim is recommended for those patients who have not responded well to other forms of bladder treatment or who cannot tolerate the side effects.
How does InterStim Therapy work?
A two-week test with a temporary device will first be administered by a physician to monitor how well InterStim will work for the patient. The temporary device functions the same way as the permanent neuro-stimulator, but is not completely surgically implanted.
Once the device is implanted and activated, patients can use a remote to manually increase or decrease the pulses given off by the neuro-stimulator in order to tailor bladder function to optimum comfort levels.
During the trial, patients will keep a journal of their symptoms and note any improvement with neuro-stimulation. If a patient finds the result favorable they may then meet with their physician to decide on proceeding with a permanent device implant.
For 59 percent of patients, this one-week trial shows a 50 percent or more decrease in symptoms, affording greater comfort and piece of mind.
Contact us to request an appointment with one of our urogynecologists to learn if InterStim Therapy is a treatment options for your urinary incontinence.