What is Medtronic InterStim Therapy for overactive bladder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Medtronic InterStim Therapy is a nerve stimulation system placed under your stomach or upper buttocks. It has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration for relief of the urgency and frequency symptoms of overactive bladder.
InterStim Therapy is FDA-approved for the treatment of urinary urge incontinence or leakage of urine that follows a sudden strong urge to urinate, non-obstructive retention, symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency, and fecal incontinence. The InterStim device acts like a pacemaker to the bladder and bowel. InterStim Therapy involves implanting a small device that sends mild electrical pulses to one of the sacral nerves in the lower back that controls the bladder and surrounding muscles that manage urinary function. The device consists of a thin lead wire placed along the sacral nerve that is connected to a battery-operated neurotransmitter (or stimulator), which is about the diameter of a half-dollar coin and the thickness of two quarters that is placed under the skin. The procedure is an outpatient procedure performed with sedation. Before the device is implanted, a trial is performed where the patient tests the therapy for 1 to 2 weeks to experience how it affects their symptoms. InterStim Therapy can be used to help male and female patients in a wide age range -- young adult to elderly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.