Chronic incontinence can control your life. But InterStim is an FDA-approved treatment option for chronic bowel incontinence and urinary concerns, such as urgency, frequency, and retention. With InterStim therapy, a sacral neuromodulation device is implanted during a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. It works by sending small electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, which control the muscles that regulate urinary function.
InterStim is a treatment option for both men and women, and it is typically recommended if you are experiencing strong, unexpected urges to urinate, as well as frequent urination and/or bladder leakage unrelated to physical activity. This therapy is typically recommended if you have already tried more conservative therapies such as medication that were ineffective or caused side effects, such as dry mouth or constipation.
For individuals with chronic incontinence, InterStim has been clinically proven to provide a number of benefits. Research shows that:
- All patients, both with and without external anal sphincter defects, showed significant improvements in fecal continence and quality of life
- 66 percent of patients achieved at least a 75 percent improvement in weekly incontinence episodes
- 47 percent of patients achieved complete continence within one year of implantation
- 89 percent of patients were still experiencing clinical success five years after implantation
InterStim is the only bowel and bladder control therapy that allows patients to test results before being treated. During a short pre-treatment session, a physician can use an external neurostimulator to determine how well your body responds to the therapy, indicating whether you are a good candidate for the treatment. The implantation procedure is a simple, outpatient surgery that takes about an hour. It’s performed by our experienced proctology surgery team in our Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Following the InterStim procedure, patients will be:
- Monitored carefully as the anesthesia wears off
- Shown how to adjust the settings on the neurostimulator, allowing patients to adjust the strength of the pulses as they learn how their body responds to the treatment
- Provided with a list of postoperative recovery guidelines, such as activity modifications for the first several weeks after the operation
- Scheduled for any necessary follow-up visits (most patients see their doctor about a week after their initial InterStim implantation procedure, and then again in one to two months)
For more information about the InterStim procedure or to find out if this treatment may be appropriate for your needs, contact Florida Medical Clinic to request an appointment with the Department of Proctology.