Print this page
Facebook Twitter Youtube email YelpGoogle

Home > Incontinence

Interstim - Sacral Nerve Stimulation

 Information provided is for educational purposes.   Dr. Miklos and Dr. Moore no longer provide Interstim Therapy

(Medtronic InterStim® Therapy for Urinary Control)

InterStim® Therapy (InterStim® is a registered trademark of Medtronic, Inc.), is a sacral nerve stimulation therapy made by Medtronic.  It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997 and has been used successfully to treat thousands of patients worldwide.   

Millions of people of all ages suffer from bladder control problems such as retention and overactive bladder or even bladder/pelvic pain.  Effects of bladder control problems can be devastating. You have probably found that treatments such as drugs, behavior modification, diet changes, pelvic floor exercises or the use of a catheter to empty your bladder did not effectively treat your symptoms.  Dr. Miklos and Dr. Moore would like you to could consider a therapy called sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) through an Interstim® implant.  SNS involves the use of an InterStim® device that can be thought of as a pacemaker for the bladder.   Dr. Miklos and Moore will send you to an expert in this technology if they believe that you are a candidate for the procedure.

Sacral Nerve Stimulation (SNS) Therapy
Sacral nerve stimulation therapy involves delivering an electrical pulse to the sacral nerves (located just above your tailbone) through an InterStim® implant. This stimulation may facilitate the communication between the brain and bladder, and may relieve the symptoms of urinary retention or symptoms of overactive bladder, including urinary urge incontinence and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency in some patients.  It also may help control chronic pelvic pain and even fecal incontinence as well.

Who Are Candidates for SNS Therapy?
SNS is intended for patients who have failed or could not tolerate more conservative treatments. Bladder control problems that may improve with SNS therapy include:

  • Overactive bladder (includes urge incontinence and urgency frequency-alone or in combination)
  • Urge incontinence – The involuntary loss of urine associated with a sudden, strong desire to void (urgency).
  • Urgency-frequency– Frequent, uncontrollable urges to urinate (urgency) and voiding often in very small amounts (frequency).
  • Urinary retention – The inability to empty the bladder
  • Interstitial cystitis patients with urgency/frequency, bladder pain, pelvic pain
  • Pelvic pain patients secondary to neuropathic disorders (pudendal neuropathy)
  • Patients suffering from fecal incontinence

Who Are Not Candidates for SNS Therapy?

InterStim Therapy is not intended to treat:

  • Symptoms of stress incontinence. People with stress incontinence lose urine when they exercise, sneeze, cough, or laugh.
  • Mechanical obstructions such as enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy/BPH), cancer or narrowing of the urethra (urethral strictures). Safety and effectiveness of InterStim Therapy has not been studied for stimulation with two leads, or for patients who are pregnant, have diabetes, neurological diseases or multiple sclerosis, or are under 16 years old.

What Other Limitations Apply to SNS Therapy?

Some known limitations for this therapy include: a failed test stimulation, or inability to use the patient programmer. Patients with other stimulation devices such as a pacemaker may also not be candidates for SNS. Inform anyone treating you that you CANNOT have any shortwave diathermy, microwave diathermy or therapeutic ultrasound diathermy (all now referred to as diathermy) anywhere on your body because you have an implanted neurostimulation system. Energy from diathermy can be transferred through your implanted system, and can cause tissue damage, resulting in severe injury or death.

Is SNS a Cure for Bladder Control Problems?

As with any therapy, your own individual results may vary. While many patients implanted with InterStim Therapy experienced relief of many of their symptoms, the therapy will not result in complete improvement or a cure.

You should know that many patients have experienced positive results and experienced an improved quality of life after having the InterStim Therapy implanted.   To learn more about the therapy, visit "" or ask your doctor for the Medtronic patient manual and a brochure to read stories from patients who decided to have the InterStim System implanted.


Back | Home