Interstim Sacral Nerve Neuromodulation for Treatment of Urinary Problems: Experienced Urologists in NYC

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

What is Sacral Neuromodulation?

InterStim sacral nerve neuromodulation (SNM) is an innovative treatment for men and women with urinary problems.  Urologists at New York Urology Specialists are experienced in treating men and women with Interstim Sacral Neuromodulation.

The InterStim device stimulates the nerves in the back (spine) and re-educates the nerves that control bladder function to behave normally. Interstim has been rigorously studied in thousands of patients and has been shown to provide effective and durable results.  In studies, InterStim has been shown to benefit men and women with multiple urinary problems, including urinary frequency, urge to urinate, urinary incontinence, urinary retention and a number of other problems.  InterStim is also beneficial for men and women with fecal incontinence which may sometimes coexist with urinary problems as well.

Remarkably, Interstim sacral neuromodulation works for many men and women who have failed multiple other treatment options.

How Does Sacral Nerve Neural Modulation Work?

Bowel Implant Spine
Under normal circumstances, normal bladder function is controlled by signals sent from the brain through the spinal cord to the nerves of the bladder.  The nerves of the bladder control bladder muscles and determine when the muscles should contract to expel urine or relax to allow the bladder to fill and hold urine.  Sensory nerves from the bladder tell the brain when the bladder is full, and the brain, in turn, generates a urinary urgency signal.

When the sensory nerves of the bladder do not perceive the fullness of the bladder correctly, patients experience urinary frequency and urinary urgency.  When the nerves that send “urgency” signals to the bladder do not function correctly, they may send “urgency” signals to the bladder at inappropriate times.

Interstim Sacral nerve neuromodulation re-trains and re-educates bladder nerves to function correctly and helps to restore normal bladder function.

Who is a Candidate for Sacral Neuromodulation with Interstim?

Most men and women with severe urinary frequency, urinary urgency, or urinary urge incontinence who have failed other treatment options (medications) are good candidates for InterStim sacral neuromodulation.  InterStim sacral manipulation is effective in patients who have tried and did not benefit or could not tolerate tibial nerve neuromodulation as well as Botox injections.

What Does the Treatment with InterStim Involve?

After full evaluation by the physician, if a patient decides to proceed with InterStim sacral neuromodulation, the first step is to test whether Interstim is effective for treatment of patient’s symptoms.  The testing phase can occur in the office under local anesthesia or in the operating room with mild sedation.  A small needle is passed in the back towards the S3 sacral nerve roots and the needle electrode wire is positioned next to the nerves.  The stimulating wire is connected to a battery; remote control is used to adjust the settings to achieve optimal stimulation of the sacral nerves.  Patient tests the Interstim at home for 1-2 weeks.  If the patient experiences at least a 50% improvement in symptoms, the next step is to implant the battery and the rest of the device in the area of the buttocks under the skin.  Typically if this is performed in the operating room with sedation and takes less than 1 hour of time.  The patient typically goes home the same day.

What is the recovery after InterStim implantation.?

Recovery after InterStim implantation is relatively short.  Most patients are able to return to their normal activities and to office work the next day.  Patients may experience some discomfort at the site of battery and lead implantation for a few weeks to a few months.

Most patient’s experience significant improvement in the quality of life.

Benefits of Interstim Sacral Neuromodulation:

  • More effective than medications for patients with symptoms of OAB
  • Effective in patients who fail other treatments for OAB (Overactive Bladder)
  • Effective for patients with non-obstructive urinary incontinence
  • Effective for treatment of urge urinary incontinence

The effectiveness of Sacral Neurostimulation:

More than 100,000 patients have been treated with Interstim neurostimulator worldwide.

Studies show that >60% of patients experience significant benefit from Interstim Sacral Neuromodulation.  It is important to remember that many patients treated with Interstim have tried and did not benefit from multiple other treatment options.

Typical study results show that for patients with urinary frequency who have to urinate 12 times per day, after implantation of Interstim, they experience an average reduction of 5 voids per day, from 12 to 7 episodes per day.

Similarly, patients with an average 3 urinary incontinence episodes during the day experience reduction of 2 episodes per day from 3 to 1.

Interstim vs Medical Therapy

For patients with mild-moderate overactive bladder (8 voids per day) 71% of patients treated with Interstim compared to 47% treated with medications experienced greater than 50% improvement in symptoms of OAB.  Twice as many patients were completely dry (39% cured of incontinence) with Interstim compared to medications (21%).   More patients felt that their quality of life improved with Interstim compared to medications.

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 frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, urinary urgency and incontinence.