Overactive bladder symptoms may include urinary frequency, urgency, urge incontinence, and nocturia (waking up at night to urinate). Treatments include fluid restriction and behavioral modification, oral medications, and procedures performed in the office or in the operating room. We offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures to help improve bladder control in men and women.
InterStim™ Therapy was FDA-approved in 1997 for urge incontinence and since 1999 for certain types of urinary retention and urgency-frequency. InterStim™ therapy targets the communication problem with nerve signals to the bladder. Prior to this procedure, you will undergo a detailed evaluation by your urologist to make sure that this procedure is appropriate for you. The procedure includes a test phase and a second stage implantation phase. The test phase gives the patient an opportunity to try out InterStim™ therapy without making a long-term commitment. Before and during the test phase, patients keep voiding diaries to keep record of their urinary symptoms. If there is a greater than 50% improvement in urinary symptoms, your provider will work with you to discuss permanent implantation with a stimulator placed under the skin (similar to a pacemaker).
For more in depth information on InterStim™ therapy, please refer to this informative video from the National Association for Continence:
You can try it before you decide, and it’s reversible if you change your mind later. And unlike injections, it doesn’t require self catheterization or repeated treatment visits.
It may significantly reduce symptoms in people who have frequent urges to urinate or related frequent leaks or are unable to fully empty their bladder.1
No. It can be effective, but it’s not a cure. If the neurostimulator is turned off or removed, symptoms can return.
Most people describe the stimulation sensation as a tingling, flutter, or vibration in the pelvic area. It should not be painful. Stimulation settings can be adjusted, and sensations will vary from person to person.
People with an InterStim™ system can have a full-body‡ MRI scan under certain conditions. Your doctor will determine whether you meet those conditions.
Medicare and many private insurance companies cover this therapy. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your insurance coverage.
1. Foster RT Sr, Anoia EJ, Webster GD, Amundsen CL. In patients undergoing neuromodulation for intractable urge incontinence a reduction in 24-hr pad weight after the initial test stimulation best predicts long-term patient satisfaction. Neurourol Urodyn. 2007; 26:213-217.