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  • Interstim

    Interstim® Sacral Neuromodulation Therapy


    InterStim®, also called sacral neuromodulation therapy, has been used safely and effectively for over 13 years to treat urinary retention as well as the symptoms of bladder overactivity (urgency, frequency, urge incontinence). The device works by using mild electrical stimulations to influence the nerves affecting the bladder and other structures involved in urination and urinary control. For patients who have not had success with other types of therapy, InterStim® may offer relief.


    At the University of Chicago, the InterStim® system is implanted in a two-stage process. During the first stage, a very fine wire is introduced just above the tailbone and floated near the sacral nerves. The surgeon uses x-ray and other tests to be sure that the wire is in the proper location. The wire is then connected to a portable electrical stimulation box that can be carried on the patient’s belt. Because the position and intensity of the electrical pulses must be optimized for each patient, InterStim® is tested for two weeks to make sure that the device is providing symptomatic relief.


    When the device is helpful, the same wire is connected to a permanent battery powered electrical stimulator about the size of a silver dollar. This stimulator, which is much like a pacemaker, is then introduced into the fatty tissues of the buttock where is rests almost undetectably. If the InterStim® is not helpful or the patient simply wishes it taken out, then the system can be easily removed.


    To receive additional information from the makers of InterStim®, use this link:


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