Bowel incontinence can occur for a number of reasons, including damage to the sacral nerve, a major nerve that travels from the lower back to the bowels and other organs and tissues. When the nerve is damaged through trauma, disease or another cause, bowel control can become problematic.
A few years ago, the FDA approved the use of a special device designed specifically to stimulate the sacral nerve. Called InterStimÂ® Therapy, the device is implanted just beneath the skin of your pelvis where it acts as a â€œgo-betweenâ€ or bridge, facilitating communication between your brain and your sacral nerve. Once implanted, the InterStim device emits lightelectrical pulses that stimulate the sacral nerve to help control both bowel and bladder function. Think of it like a pacemaker for the bladder and bowels.
Numerous studies have proven the safety and efficacy ofInterStimin both bladder and bowel incontinence. Most recently, a study conducted by researchers in Canada has also demonstrated that InterStimcan markedly improve the quality of life for people who suffer from bowel incontinence.
The study looked at 120 patients who had an InterStimimplanted and followed them for four years, measuring quality of life indicators included in the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQLS). The FIQLS includes questions about self-esteem and self-confidence, the personâ€™s willingness to travel, leave the home or engage in social activities, and other factors having a significant impact on how much individuals areable to enjoy theirlives.
At the end of the study period, researchers found the patientsâ€™ quality of life scores had increased significantly while their Fecal Incontinence Severity Index Scores (a measurement of the severity of their symptoms) had markedly decreased.
The study results have major implications for patients who may be â€œon the fenceâ€ about whether to investigate InterStimTherapy
. While some patients may feel theyâ€™re willing to wear protective pads and â€œsuffer through,â€ understanding the real impact this simple device can have on quality of life can provide patients with greater insight about how they can enjoy a substantial improvement in their own lives. To learn more about InterStim and how it can help you, schedule an appointment today!