Bowel Incontinence: Study Shows InterStim Improves Quality of Life

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 InterStim┬« Therapy, the device is implanted just beneath the skin of your pelvis where it acts as a “go-between” 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 of InterStim in both bladder and bowel incontinence. Most recently, a study conducted by researchers in Canada has also demonstrated that InterStim can markedly improve the quality of life for people who suffer from bowel incontinence.

The study looked at 120 patients who had an InterStim implanted 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 person’s willingness to travel, leave the home or engage in social activities, and other factors having a significant impact on how much individuals are able to enjoy their lives.

At the end of the study period, researchers found the patients’ 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 on the fence about whether to investigate InterStimTherapy. While some patients may feel they’re willing to wear protective pads and suffer through, 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!

About The Incontinence Institute

At the Incontinence Institute, our team of healthcare providers understand the physical and mental trials that accompany living with urinary or bowel incontinence. Because of this, we are sensitive to your situation and treat all of our patients with the utmost respect and concern for discretion.

Individual incontinence conditions, treatment and recovery times may vary. Each patient's experience with incontinence procedures and / or surgery will differ. All surgical procedures involve some level of risk. If directed to pursue surgery by your physician, prompt action is advised, as waiting may reduce the efficacy of surgical treatment. The opinions expressed in patient testimonials are by patients only; they are not qualified medical professionals. These opinions should not be relied upon as, or in place of, the medical advice of a licensed doctor, etc.

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Incontinence Institute 2009 Mallory Lane, Suite 100 Franklin, Tennessee 37067