If you've tried OAB medications without success, you may be relieved to hear about another treatment option: InterStim® Therapy.
InterStim Therapy is a proven neuromodulation therapy that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. If those nerves are not communicating correctly, the bladder will not function properly.
After talking with your doctor to see if InterStim Therapy is right for you, you may decide to try InterStim Therapy by going through an evaluation. Based on the outcome of the evaluation, you and your doctor will determine the next steps for your treatment.
InterStim Therapy was created by Medtronic, and over 100,000 people worldwide have received InterStim Therapy. Medicare and many other private insurance companies cover InterStim Therapy.
How InterStim Therapy Works
InterStim Therapy works with the sacral nerves, located in the pelvic area near the tailbone. The sacral nerves control the bladder and muscles related to urinary function.
It is believed that one possible cause of overactive bladder is miscommunication between the brain and the sacral nerves. When the nerves aren't telling the bladder to function correctly, this communication problem can cause bladder control problems.
The theory is that stimulation of the sacral nerves with mild electrical pulses reduces the signals to the nervous system which may be causing the bladder control symptoms.
How to Find Out if InterStim Therapy Works for You
During an evaluation, you'll have the opportunity to test InterStim Therapy without making a long-term commitment.
The evaluation generally lasts 3 to 7 days. However, the length of the evaluation may vary among doctors. Your doctor will discuss the evaluation procedure with you and the options for using either a temporary lead or long-term lead for the evaluation. One end of the lead is implanted near your sacral nerves and the other end is connected to a small external test stimulator that can be worn on your waistband. The stimulator generates mild electrical pulses that are carried to the sacral nerve by the lead. Complications can occur with the trial assessment, including movement of the lead, technical problems with the device, and some temporary pain.
If you experience a significant reduction in your bladder control symptoms, you can decide whether or not to go on to long-term InterStim Therapy. Talk with your doctor about the evaluation and his or her recommendation for your individual situation.