Interstim (Bladder Pacemaker)

What is InterStim Therapy?

InterStim Therapy is designed to treat urinary urge incontinence, urinary retention or significant symptoms of urgency-frequency in select individuals.  The therapy uses a small device to send mild electrical pulses to a nerve located in the lower back (just above the tailbone).  This nerve, called the sacral nerve, controls the bladder and surrounding muscles that manage urinary function.  The electrical stimulation may eliminate or reduce certain bladder control symptoms in some people.

How will I know if InterStim therapy will work for me?

Your physician will determine whether you are a candidate for InterStim Therapy.  If your bladder control problems are not effectively managed by more conservative treatments and you have an otherwise normally functioning urinary system, you are a potential candidate.

A test (the temporary test stimulation) is used before implantation of the therapy to see what the effect of stimulation is on your symptoms.  A test lead is placed near the appropriate sacral nerve and mild stimulation with an external device is provided for several days.  During the test period you will record your symptoms in a special diary.  If symptoms improve or disappear, long-term use of InterStim Therapy may be appropriate for you.

What are the potential benefits of InterStim therapy?

InterStim Therapy may eliminate or reduce symptoms cased by bladder control problems.

In a multicenter clinical study many patients who received InterStim Therapy experienced significant improvements in their symptoms.


Urge Incontinence (12 month results):

45% of patients remained completely dry 
34% of patients had a greater than 50 percent reduction in number of wetting episodes
79% clinical success
70% of patients eliminated heavy leaking episodes


Urgency-Frequency  (12 month results):

33% of patients reduced the number of voids by 50% or more
31% of patients reduced the number to normal (4-7 per day)
64% clinical success
82% of patients improved degree of urgency before a void


Urinary retention (12 month results):

61% of patients eliminated the use of catheters.