InterStim for Overactive Bladder

Quick Facts

  • InterStim uses sacral neuromodulation to treat OAB symptoms
  • A medical device is surgically installed to provide nerve stimulation

Overactive Bladder Doctors

InterStim for Overactive Bladder

InterStim is a therapy for OAB. Many women find medications are ineffective against the symptoms of OAB. If medications didn’t work for you or if side effects were impacting your quality of life, InterStim may be an option. An InterStim device can reduce OAB symptoms by that restoring normal communication between the brain and the bladder and the bowel.

How does InterStim for OAB work?
InterStim uses sacral nerve stimulation therapy, or sacral neuromodulation, to treat OAB. The Medtronic InterStim an FDA-approved sacral nerve stimulation device. A small device is implanted that sends electrical impulses to nerves in the lower back. These nerves are called the sacral nerves. They are stimulated gently to decrease the symptoms of OAB.

For two weeks, you will use a temporary InterStim device. The temporary device is the same as a permanent device, but it is not surgically implanted. Bladder and bowel functions and improvements are recorded in a journal during the trial. If the trial goes well, you’ll undergo surgery for permanent InterStim placement.

Once a permanent device is installed, you can use a remote to increase or decrease the nerve stimulation to adjust bladder function. InterStim may reduce or completely eliminate your OAB symptoms.

How effective is InterStim for OAB?
Almost 80 percent of InterStim patients reported at least a 50 percent improvement in average leakage, compared to almost 50 percent of those on taking medication for OAB. InterStim patients experienced three times more improvement in their quality of life than those taking medication for OAB. During a five year study, over 80 percent of InterStim patients experienced a 50 percent or greater improvement.

How do I know if InterStim is right for me?
OAB is a nerve disorder. InterStim helps the brain, bladder, and bowel communicate appropriately, decreasing sudden urges to use the bathroom and leaking. InterStim may be right for you if you’ve tried medications for OAB without symptom relief and completed behavioral and physical therapy.

What results can I expect?
Studies show that InterStim is safe and effective. InterStim is proven to restore bladder function, return bladder control long-term, and improve quality of life.

What are the risks associated with InterStim for OAB?
Some of the risks associated with InterStim for OAB include:

  • Pain at the implant site
  • Skin infection or irritation
  • Changes in urinary or bowel function

Your doctor will discuss the potential risks of InterStim prior to treatment.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to overcome the inconvenient symptoms of OAB, call today to schedule an InterStim for OAB consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to recover from InterStim surgery?
You should be able to return to a normal routine with some restrictions shortly after surgery. Full recovery time is about six weeks.

How long does an InterStim battery last?
An InterStim battery lasts about five years. If you are continually increasing the power on your InterStim device sooner than five years, you should get your device evaluated to determine if there are issues with the battery or the device.

Does InterStim help with pain?
Some patients report pain relief, but InterStim is not FDA-approved for pain management.

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