Are you suffering from bowel control problems? Incontinence is characterized by the inability to control bowel movements. Severity can vary, but you might notice signs such as:
Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim™system is an FDA-approved, reversible treatment option for stool incontinence that provides long-term relief.
Sometimes, diarrhea and constipation can lead to stool incontinence, but it can also be caused by nerve or muscle damage. For patients with chronic or recurring stool incontinence, the condition can be especially embarrassing and prevent living a full and active life.
There are two main types of incontinence:
Conservative treatments can help some patients, like adjusting fiber intake, using biofeedback to retrain bowels, or taking anti-diarrheal medication. Unfortunately, many patients find that they do not get the relief they need from conservative options.
Imagine being able to resume the activities that you love without interruption. Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim™system works by addressing the miscommunication that is occurring between your bowel (sacral nerves) and your brain.
The InterStim™system is made up of a neurostimulator, which sends mild electrical pulses through a lead. The lead is a thin wire that carries the electrical pulses to the targeted nerve in the lower back. The other piece of the InterStim™system is a handheld device that allows you to turn the neurostimulator on and off or change its strength.
The stimulations are not painful. Some patients describe a light pulling, fluttering, or tingling sensation in the pelvic area.
Candidates for the InterStim™system experience significant incontinence symptoms and find that other treatments are not working. The goal for the InterStim™system will be to see if addressing the miscommunication between the brain and the bowel will help.
It’s important to note that the InterStim™system is not a cure for stool incontinence. Once the implant is removed, symptoms can return.
A trial run is often done first. After a short procedure in the doctor’s office, you can go about regular activities for up to two weeks while keeping track of your symptoms. After the trial period, you’ll go over your experience with your doctor to determine if the implant is right for you.
Procedure to implant the InterStim™system carries the same risks as any other surgical procedure, such as bleeding and swelling. Your doctor will talk to you about ways to avoid potential side effects.
After you have the InterStim™system implanted, you should gradually work your way up to your normal activities as you feel comfortable. The battery in the neurostimulator does not need to be recharged, and will last for five to seven years.
Overall, bowel control therapy helps patients to experience fewer accidents and reduces embarrassment. With stool incontinence easier to cope with, you’ll have the confidence to do more activities that you enjoy.
View important safety information here.