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InterStim therapy for overactive bladder (OAB) or urinary retention is a device that is used to send signals to the bladder so that it can function normally.  The device works by using a tiny pacemaker that sends a signal to the 3rd sacral nerve root in order to establish normal bladder function. This technology has been used worldwide in thousands of patients and can dramatically decrease urinary frequency, urgency, and urge incontinence.   The InterStim can also improve urine elimination in those patients that cannot empty the bladder (increased post void residual). It also may be effective in some patients with Interstitial Cystitis. The InterStim is produced by Medtronic, Inc., a leader in cardiac pacemakers and other neurostimulators.

Patients that are candidate for InterStim therapy have either failed medications for their bladder (anticholinergics), or have a medical contraindication to taking medications. It can also help alleviate the need to self catheterize in order to empty the bladder. Patients who have side effects from medications (severe dry mouth, glaucoma, constipation) may find the InterStim a more desirable alternative.

Placement of the InterStim device is a 2 stage process. The first step is a minimally invasive test either done in the office or ambulatory center under local anesthesia in which 2 small wires (or leads) are placed in the small of the back near the tailbone. This is called a Percutaneous Nerve Evaluation or PNE. This stimulates the S3 peripheral nerves to send signals to the bladder. The patient wears a small stimulator box connected to these leads for several days. This simple non-invasive test allows the treating physician to see what the response would be if the actual InterStim were to be implanted. It also allows the patient to see if the InterStim would be right for them. Results can be dramatic. Patients who wake up several times per night often now sleep through the night. A greater thanurology group Clearwater, urologist Clearwater, urologist West Florida, prostate cancer treatment West Florida, prostate cancer treatment Tampa, prostate cancer treatment Clearwater, specialist in urology Clearwater, specialist in urology West Florida, Urology Specialists of West Florida, kidney stones pinellas county, kidney stones West Florida, incontinence treatment Clearwater, erectile dysfunction Tampa, urologists Clearwater, testicular cancer West Florida, bladder problems Clearwater, prostate surgery Clearwater 50% improvement in symptoms is considered a successful test. Patients who have urinary retention may see their need to catheterize decrease dramatically or not needing to catheterize at all. Additional testing is available if the PNE fails in which the actual lead for the InterStim can be used for testing (1st stage InterStim).

If the test is successful, patients can have the pacemaker battery and lead placed through a minimally invasive technique under fluoroscopic x-ray completely under the skin. The incisions  used to implant the device are small and inconspicuous.  InterStim has improved the lives of thousands of men and women throughout the world. Our urologists at USWF have implanted hundreds of InterStim devices since it was FDA approved. They have also trained other physicians in the placement of InterStim and are considered experts in the technology.

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