InterStim Neuromodulation Therapy

What is InterStim® Therapy for Urinary Control?

Medtronic InterStim® System for Urinary Control is indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder/urge incontinence, non-obstructive urinary retention and fecal incontinence, in patients who have failed or could not tolerate more conservative treatments.

InterStim Therapy uses a small device to send mild electrical pulses to a nerve located in the lower back. This nerve, called the sacral nerve, influences the bladder, bowel, and surrounding muscles that manage urinary and bowel function. The electrical stimulation may eliminate or reduce certain bladder and bowel control symptoms in some people.

The sacral nerves, located near the sacrum (“tailbone”), play an important role in regulating bowel and bladder control. A sacral nerve neurostimulator, known as InterStim, may help some patients with refractory urge incontinence, as well as individuals with non-obstructive voiding dysfunction and those with fecal incontinence. The system uses a small implantable device to send electrical pulses to the sacral nerves. OAB and Urge Incontinence are caused by abnormal bladder contractions and the Interstim neuromodulator interrupts these abnormal bladder contractions, thus controlling incontinence. The InterStim system is currently FDA approved for:

  • Refractory Urge Incontinence
  • Non-obstructive voiding dysfunction
  • Fecal Incontinence

Complications include infection and pain at the implant site. The system, however, does not cause nerve damage and can be removed, or simply turned off at any time. Patients are provided a remote control assigned to their device, giving them ultimate control over their incontinence. Several studies have shown improvement in decreasing urinary urgency and frequency, as well as an overall improvement the patients’ quality of life.