Sacral Neuromodulation targets and stimulates the sacral nerves that control the bladder. InterStim is a sacral neuromodulator. It’s a small, implantable medical device that sends mild, electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, which are located above the tailbone. These pulses normalize communication between the brain and the bladder, and activate or inhibit urinary reflexes.
InterStim is primarily meant for patients with an overactive bladder (OAB) who no longer take and/or benefit from their OAB medication. But it also helps people with non-obstructive urinary retention. Patients may experience fewer trips to the bathroom, fewer accidents and greater confidence when venturing outside their homes. It provides symptom relief.
Patients can “test drive” the InterStim device prior implantation.
During this test phase, a temporary device is provided to the patient. The doctor inserts a thin flexible needle in the patient’s upper buttock, near the sacral nerves. The needle is attached to a wire, which is attached to an external InterStim device and battery pack that the patient wears on a belt. The patient is given a hand-held remote to control the level of sacral nerve stimulation, and instructions on how to use the remote. They are also given a dairy to record urinary symptoms.
If improvement is shown, a permanent InterStim device is surgically implanted later. The procedure is minimally invasive, quick and is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. Patients receive a local anesthetic and sedation.
The InterStim bladder control system has two models: a rechargeable and recharge-free option. Both provide continuous and long lasting therapy.