People who suffer from urinary problems such as urgency incontinence, frequency, nocturia (nighttime urination) or urinary retention often have a difficult time finding the right treatment. Therapies such as behavior modification, pelvic floor training, and medication often fail because they are uncomfortable, time consuming and costly.
Sacral nerve stimulation is a new surgical treatment that may be an option for people who have not been successful with other therapies. Sacral nerve stimulation uses a small, implanted device to send mild electrical pulses to nerves in the lower back which influence the bladder and surrounding muscles. The procedure is used to treat the symptoms of overactive bladder, including urge incontinence, urgency-frequency, and urinary retention.
According to Steve Pillow, MD., an obstetrician/gynecologist who is trained in the procedure, “Sacral nerve stimulation may help people who experience the frustrations of an overactive bladder resume their normal activities.” Urologist Jack Cassell, M.D., adds, “Now free from the worry of leaks, many people say that sacral nerve stimulation has vastly improved their quality of life. This is just the thing that we’ve been waiting for to help the patients that we once thought were beyond help.”
The implant surgery is minimally invasive and doesn’t require a hospital stay. Most people return to normal activities within a few days. People should consult their doctor to determine if sacral nerve stimulation is appropriate for them.