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Interstim Bladder Control Therapy in Metro Atlanta

Interstim therapy, also known as sacral neuromodulation (SNM), is a medical treatment used for individuals who experience bladder or bowel control problems, such as overactive bladder, urinary retention, fecal incontinence, or non-obstructive urinary retention. It involves the use of a device called an Interstim system to regulate the signals sent between the brain, spinal cord, and the nerves that control the bladder and bowel function.

The Bhalani Urology Institute is a Center of Excellence in Interstim.

The Procedure

The Interstim system consists of two main components: a thin, flexible wire called a lead and a small device called a neurostimulator. The lead is surgically implanted near the sacral nerves, which are located in the lower back and control bladder and bowel function. The neurostimulator is typically placed under the skin in the upper buttock or abdomen and is connected to the lead.

Once the Interstim system is implanted, it delivers mild electrical impulses to the sacral nerves, modulating the nerve activity and restoring normal bladder and bowel function. The neurostimulator can be adjusted and programmed by a healthcare professional to provide the most effective stimulation pattern for the individual’s specific condition.

Interstim therapy is usually done in two stages. The first stage involves a trial period where a temporary lead is placed near the sacral nerves and connected to an external neurostimulator. This allows the individual to assess the effectiveness of the therapy before committing to a permanent implant. If the trial period is successful and the individual experiences significant improvement in their symptoms, they can proceed to the second stage, which involves the surgical implantation of the permanent Interstim system.

The Benefits

The exact mechanism by which Interstim therapy works is not fully understood. However, it is believed that the electrical stimulation helps to normalize the communication between the nerves and the brain, resulting in improved bladder and bowel control.

Interstim therapy has been shown to be effective in many cases, providing long-term relief for individuals with bladder and bowel control problems who have not responded well to other treatments. However, like any medical procedure, it carries potential risks and complications, such as infection, pain at the implant site, lead migration, or device malfunction.

It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if Interstim therapy is a suitable option for your specific condition. Call our office to schedule a consultation at (678) 321-7227.

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Percutaneous sacral nerve evaluation (PNE) is a medical procedure used to assess the sacral nerves, which play a crucial role in controlling bowel and bladder function. Patients who may require PNE include those with neurogenic bladder or bowel dysfunction, urinary retention, or chronic pelvic pain. Here are some frequently asked questions related to PNE and their answers:

PNE is a diagnostic procedure used to assess the function of the sacral nerves, which are responsible for controlling bowel and bladder function. It involves temporarily stimulating these nerves to evaluate their responsiveness.

PNE is typically performed to help diagnose the cause of neurogenic bladder or bowel dysfunction, urinary retention, or chronic pelvic pain. It can help determine if sacral nerve modulation therapy (SNS or sacral neuromodulation) would be an appropriate treatment option.

During a PNE procedure, a small needle electrode is inserted through the skin into the sacral foramina near the tailbone. This electrode is connected to a stimulator, and electrical impulses are delivered to the sacral nerves. The patient’s response is monitored, and the information gathered helps in diagnosing the underlying issue.

The procedure is generally well-tolerated, and patients may experience mild discomfort during electrode placement. Local anesthesia is usually used to numb the area. Any discomfort is typically temporary and mild.

PNE typically takes about 15-30 minutes to complete. It is an outpatient procedure, and patients go home the same day.

While PNE is a safe procedure, there are potential risks, including infection, bleeding, and pain at the insertion site. These complications are rare but possible.

After the procedure, patients are monitored for a short time to ensure there are no immediate complications. They can typically resume their normal activities within a day or two. The results of the PNE are evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine the next steps in treatment.

No, PNE is a diagnostic test used to assess the viability of sacral neuromodulation as a treatment option. SNS is a long-term therapy involving the implantation of a device to stimulate the sacral nerves continuously.

PNE is used to help diagnose conditions such as overactive bladder, urinary retention, fecal incontinence, and chronic pelvic pain, especially when other treatments have been ineffective.

Depending on the results of the PNE and the underlying condition, your healthcare provider will discuss the potential treatment options with you. This may include sacral neuromodulation or other therapies tailored to your specific needs.

It’s essential to discuss any concerns or questions you have about PNE with your healthcare provider to ensure you have a full understanding of the procedure and its implications for your condition.

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