What is InterStim sacral neuromodulation?

InterStim sacral neuromodulation is a therapy treatment that can resolve the symptoms associated with urinary and fecal incontinence in women. InterStim is an implantable device that sends mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves. The sacral nerves, or sacral plexus, control the muscles related to urinary and rectal function. This therapy is necessary when the brain and sacral nerves do not properly communicate, causing bladder and bowel accidents.

InterStim therapy can be used to treat:

  • Urge incontinence, a loss of urine when you feel a strong need to go to the bathroom
  • Urinary retention (non-obstructive), the inability to empty your bladder without the use of a catheter
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • Fecal incontinence, the inability to control bowel movements, causing stool to leak unexpectedly from your rectum.

What can I expect during the procedure?

This is a minimally-invasive procedure done under sedation in 2 phases approximately 2 weeks apart – a test phase and a final implantation phase. An small incision is made on the lower back, just above the buttock. The electrode (or neurostimulator in the second stage) is then inserted through the incision. Our surgeons will then check the InterStim handheld remote to make sure that everything is working properly. Lastly, the incision site is then closed up and dressed. After that, the procedure is complete and we will discuss post-op care, follow guidelines and instructions on how to use the handheld remote.

How do I use the stimulator?

Using the handheld remote, you will be in control of the stimulation that you feel. Using the control knob, you can increase or decrease the amplitude, depending on how much sensation you feel in the vagina or rectal area. You should always feel comfortable.

Am I a candidate?

A benefit of InterStim sacral neuromodulation treatments is that they can be tried temporarily to see if it resolves your symptoms. With the test stimulation, you can try InterStim therapy for 4-7 days to experience the stimulation of the nerves. This testing allows you and your provider at South Bay Urology to determine if the full procedure will help you.

Schedule an appointment in Southern California

If you suffer from urinary or fecal incontinence, schedule a consultation at South Bay Urology in Torrance, California. We will assess your symptoms and create a treatment plan just for you. To get started, give us a call at (310) 542-0199 or request an appointment on our website.


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(310) 542-0199