Interstim for Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is a disorder that causes a frequent, urgent need to urinate. Sometimes the urge is so strong that it leads to loss of bladder control (urge incontinence). The inability to completely empty the bladder and painful urination are also symptoms.
Overactive bladder occurs in both men and women and is more common as a person ages. Involuntary bladder contractions due to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, diabetes, enlarged prostate, caffeine consumption, poor kidney function or neurological disorders can all cause or contribute to overactive bladder.
In many cases, behavioral changes or medications can help with overactive bladder, however; when these treatments are not satisfactory, InterStim Therapy for Urinary Control may be able to control thepatients symptoms.
InterStim is an FDA-approved neuromodulation therapy, also called sacral nerve stimulation, that stimulates communication between the spinal cord and the bladder. In some cases of overactive bladder, nerves in the bladder tell the brain that there is a need to urinate when in fact there is only a small volume of urine in the bladder. Neuromodulation may help control The nerve impulses to the bladder which allows the patient to have improved control over their voiding symptoms.
During InterStim therapy, a soft wire is placed underneath the skin near the tailbone. The wire conducts mild pulses to the sacral nerve from an external machine to control the symptoms of overactive bladder. Patients usually undergo a test period of InterStim therapy at home. If they show improvement, a neurostimulator similar to a pacemaker can be implanted under the skin in the buttock in place of the external machine.
InterStim may work for patients who experience urge incontinence, urinary retention and/or urgency/frequency but do not have a urinary blockage.