What is InterStim Therapy – InterStim is a long-term therapeutic solution for chronic bowel incontinence or accidental bowel leakage. By lightly stimulating the sacral nerves that carry signals from the bowel to the brain, InterStim restores a patient’s bowel function to more normal patterns. It may also have a positive effect on urinary control as well.
Who is a candidate – Anyone with bowel incontinence who has failed other conservative measures to include dietary modifications, medications, or biofeedback.
Is it effective – InterStim has a long-term proven success rate. 89% of patients with the permanent therapy have reduced their incontinence episodes by at least 50% at 5 years, 66% of patients achieved 75% to 100% improvement in incontinent episodes per week, and 47% of those patients demonstrated complete continence.
Will it work for you – A minimally-invasive 20 minute evaluation procedure in your doctor’s office or endoscopy center may answer that question. A thread-sized wire is inserted near your sacral nerve located near the tailbone. The wire is connected to a small, external stimulator that you’ll wear on your waistband for up to one week. Under your control, a small amount of stimulation is delivered from the stimulator, down the wire, and to the sacral nerve. If you experience a significant reduction in your bowel symptoms, you are a candidate for the long-term therapy.
Next Steps – Following a successful evaluation, you will be referred to an implanting surgeon. A neurostimulator (similar to a small pace-maker) will be placed under the skin in your upper buttock. A permanent thin wire goes from the neurostimulator to the sacral nerve, located near the tailbone.
Ambassador Program – Do you have questions and would appreciate another patient’s perspective? Call the InterStim Patient Ambassador Program at (800) 664-5111