InterStim® Therapy is an effective treatment for multiple forms of urinary and bowel incontinence. InterStim is a neurostimulation device that works by stimulating your body’s sacral nerves, which control bladder and bowel function.
Although InterStim is an excellent incontinence treatment for many patients, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are qualifications for InterStim Therapy that patients must meet before they are eligible. It’s important to discuss these steps with your physician.
InterStim can be an excellent choice for many patients for whom more conservative treatments have not proven effective, specifically men and women suffering from the following conditions:
- Overactive bladder
- Urge incontinence
- Non-obstructive urinary retention
- Chronic fecal incontinence
But it’s not ideal for all patients, including patients who:
- Lack the motor skills needed to operate the InterStim system;
- Are not good candidates for surgery;
- Suffer primarily from stress incontinence;
- Experience urinary retention due to benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate)
- Cancer or urethral stricture.
InterStim Therapy may also not be a good choice for patients who are pregnant, are under the age of 16 or who have neurological issues as a result of a chronic condition such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis, since the safety and effectiveness of the treatment has not been established in these populations.
InterStim Therapy is a more permanent solution to incontinence and requires surgical implantation, which can be safely performed in an outpatient surgery center. Before taking that step, you’ll undergo a trial evaluation of up to two weeks to determine, along with your doctor, if InterStim is a good choice for you. During the evaluation, you’ll be able to experience what it would be like to live with the device, how it feels when activated, and even if the permanent device will be able to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
If you’ve tried conservative approaches for your bladder or bowel incontinence and your symptoms still interfere with your activities of daily living, InterStim Therapy could be right for you. Contact our team of expert bladder and bowel incontinence doctors at our office in Nashville, TN.