Interstim Sacral Neuromodulation:  Effective Treatment for Non-Obstructive Urinary Retention in NYC

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD


If you have any questions about urinary problems, retention, and incomplete bladder emptying, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call: 646-663-4151


Retention of Urine (Inability to Urinate) in Men and Women

shutterstock 181046507 300x200 - Interstim for Treatment of Urinary Retention in Men and Women

Urinary retention is a challenging problem that has a dramatic effect on quality of life. 

Idiopathic urinary retention or non-obstructive urinary retention is one of the most challenging problems to treat.   The cause is often not clear but the problem is usually caused by poorly functioning nerves supplying the urinary bladder or poorly functioning bladder detrusor muscle. 

In the past, men and women with idiopathic or non-obstructive urinary retention had few options and were limited to using an indwelling Foley catheter, doing clean intermittent catheterization or having a suprapubic catheter (SPC). 

Urinary Retention Without Blockage: Interstim to the Rescue

Urinary retention without blockage as it’s underlying cause is difficult to treat.  Men and women regardless of age have typically been ‘married’ to urinary catheterization for life.  Fortunately, for many men and women regardless of age who cannot empty their bladder without a catheter, Interstim for treatment of non-obstructive urinary retention offers hope of living the life catheter-free. The remarkable success of Interstim in helping men and women with urinary retention live fuller lives is appreciated by many men and women who have been successfully treated with Interstim.   Many patients are able to stop catheterizing completely; some may only need to catheterize occasionally. 

Does Length of Catheterization Affect Success of Interstim Treatment for Non-Obstructive Urinary Retention?

Surprisingly, the duration of catheterization does not affect the success of Interstim sacral neuromodulation in making people urinate on their own.  Many patients who have been using a suprapubic catheter, Foley catheter or doing CIC (Clean intermittent catheterization) for many years have the potential to benefit from the Interstim procedure.

What Are Other Options Available for Treatment of Non-Obstructive Urinary Retention?

Interstim is the only effective treatment that has been shown to treat men and women with non-obstructive urinary retention.  The only other options are using a suprapubic catheter, indwelling Foley catheter or doing CIC (clean intermittent self-catheterization).

Urinary Retention in Young Women: Fowler’s Syndrome

Fowler’s syndrome is a fairly rare type of non-obstructive urinary retention that affects young women. It is thought that the problem is related to dysfunction of the urinary sphincter that does not work in sync with the bladder muscle.  Interstim neuromodulation has been shown to be a benefit to women with Fowler’s syndrome as having Botox injections in the sphincter muscles.

We offer effective treatment options for non-obstructive urinary retention.  Treatments such as urinary catheterizationurethral Foley catheters, and suprapubic catheters can help the bladder to empty


If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call: 646-663-4151

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC who specializes in treating men and women with urinary problems including retention of urine, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, urinary urgency and incontinence.

We see patients from all parts of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey as well as other parts of the USA. We also see international patients from Canada, Japan, South America, Russia, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and other parts of the world.