Bladder neuromodulation is used to treat patients with an overactive bladder (OAB) or urinary retention. An interstim sends an electrical stimulation from the tailbone to the bladder. This stimulation helps to improve overactivity in the bladder and helps patients who cannot urinate effectively due to urinary retention. This treatment method generally does not cause pain or discomfort.
With this form of bladder control therapy, you may experience fewer accidents, fewer trips to the bathroom, and more confidence as you are able to continue the activities you enjoy.
How does it work?
You start an evaluation, or trial period, at your doctor’s office and go through the following steps.
- A lead (thin wire) is inserted into the upper part of the buttock.
- The lead attaches to a small external device concealed by your clothing.
- You can stop, start, or adjust the therapy with a controller.
- Go about most of your normal activities for a period of time, anywhere between 3 and 14 days.
- Track your symptoms to see if there was an improvement.
After the evaluation, you can talk to your doctor about whether to continue with a long-term therapy plan.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bladder Neuromodulation
Why is this therapy different?
You can try this therapy before deciding if it’s the right treatment option for you, and it’s reversible if you do change your mind.
What can this therapy do for me?
It can reduce your symptoms and significantly improve your quality of life. It is proven to work in people who have frequent urges to urinate or who have frequent leaks, and it also works in people who are unable to fully empty their bladder.
What does the stimulation feel like?
Many people describe it as a slight pulling, tingling, or fluttering sensation in the pelvic area. It should not be painful, and the stimulation settings can be adjusted.
Does the therapy work long-term?
Each experience may be different, however, this therapy has significantly reduced symptoms of OAB and urinary retention in people treated for 5 years.
Will it cure my condition?
No. It can be effective, but this isn’t a cure. If the neurostimulator is turned off or removed, the symptoms can return.
Will my insurance cover this?
Medicare and many private insurance carriers cover this therapy. Dr. Blatter and his staff will help determine what your coverage will be.
For a consult, or to find out if interstim therapy is right for you, contact us today.