What is InterStim Therapy?

Medtronic’s InterStim® Therapy is a minimally invasive procedure to restore bowel control. The InterStim device is surgically implanted in the upper buttock, and a wireless programmer is used to activate and set up the stimulation. The procedure involves using mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves to influence the behavior of the anal sphincters, pelvic floor muscles, and bowel.

Benefits & Risks

While InterStim Therapy is not a cure for fecal incontinence, it is a proven method that’s significantly more effective than current therapeutic approaches, such as bulking agents, dietary modification, and pelvic floor exercises.

Clinical studies show 83% of patients achieve 50% or greater reduction in fecal incontinent episodes per week, and as many as 47% achieve complete continence at 12 months post-procedure.

Talk to your doctor about InterStim Therapy if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Accidental loss or leakage of stool
  • Bowel accidents while unaware
  • Frequent, loose, watery stools
  • Sudden or strong urge to go to the bathroom
  • Bowel accidents when passing gas

As with any procedure or treatment, side effects can occur. Implanting an InterStim system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, which includes swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.

What to Expect

The InterStim device is surgically implanted in the upper buttock, and a wireless programmer is used to activate and set up the stimulation. InterStim uses mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves to influence the behavior of the anal sphincters, pelvic floor muscles, and bowel.