Interstim: Treating Overactive Bladder Conditions

Interstim, an outpatient procedure that has been successfully performed on 225,000 patients worldwide, is used to manage overactive bladder (OAB) conditions, including urinary retention and incontinence. Interstim is typically used for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of medication treatments.

How Interstim Works:

While medications work to target the muscle, Interstim targets a patient’s nerves. Interstim helps the nerves from the bladder muscle send improved messages to the brain. Interstim refers to the delivery of electrical impulses to the nerves traveling through the sacrum (tailbone) that controls bowel and bladder function.

Interstim Process:

Patients will typically undergo a 3 to 7 day preoperative testing routine to ensure the patients experience improved bladder control from the technology. A small incision is made on the back of the upper hip region near the tailbone. Then, a tiny wire is inserted and attached to the external nerve stimulator (ENS), a device that is about the size of a credit card, which communicates with a hand-held programmer.

Successful Interstim:

The ENS device is securely implanted under the skin near the right upper buttock. In most cases, patients typically experience a 50% improvement in their overactive bladder condition.

If you have any questions regarding Interstim, or if you think it may be right for you, our team of professionals are available to answer any questions to help you make an informed decision. We at Western Michigan Urological Associates want to work with you to find the best option for you and your family. Ask Your Primary Care Provider for a Referral.