InterStim Therapy

What Is 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. It has been FDA-approved since 1997 for urge incontinence and since 1999 for urinary retention and urgency-frequency. InterStim Therapy is not intended for patients with a urinary blockage.

Medicare and many other private insurance companies cover InterStim Therapy.

How Effective Is InterStim Therapy?

In a long -term clinical study, it was found that 59% of patients with urge incontinence who received InterStim Therapy and completed follow-up with their doctors, had at least 50% fewer leaks per day when compared to the number of leaks before therapy.1

It is important to know that individual results may vary and that not every patient who receives InterStim Therapy will receive the same benefits or experience the same adverse events as the patients in the clinical study. In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications from this therapy can occur and may require surgery or cause return of symptoms.

How Can I Find Out If InterStim Therapy Will Work for Me?

During an evaluation, you’ll have the opportunity to test InterStim Therapy without making a long-term commitment. The evaluation generally lasts several days. Before and during the evaluation, you’ll be asked to track your symptoms to help determine how well InterStim Therapy works for you.

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.

Ask Your Doctor

Talk with your doctor about your individual situation to find out if InterStim Therapy may be right for you.

Step 1: Medtronic InterStim Therapy Evaluation

If you’ve tried several treatments for bladder control problems without success, don’t lose hope. Medtronic InterStim Therapy may be an option for you.

With InterStim Therapy’s two-step process, you can test it out to see if it will work for you before making a long-term commitment. The testing period is called an “evaluation” or a “trial assessment.”

Your doctor will discuss the evaluation procedure with you and the options for using either a temporary lead (a thin wire) or long-term lead for the evaluation.

How Will I Know If InterStim Therapy Works for Me?

You and your doctor will decide together whether your evaluation was successful. The evaluation is considered a success if you experience a significant reduction in your symptoms.

For example, your evaluation may be considered a success if you went to the bathroom 20 times per day before the evaluation and went 10 or fewer times per day during the evaluation.

Step 2: Long-term InterStim Therapy

If you experience a significant reduction in your bladder control symptoms during the evaluation, you and your doctor can discuss long-term InterStim Therapy. InterStim Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment that has been shown to be safe and effective for men and women who have not had success with other treatments.

For long-term InterStim Therapy, the neurostimulator is placed under the skin of your upper buttock, above where you sit and below your waistline. The lead (thin wire) goes from the neurostimulator to a sacral nerve, located near the tailbone.

How Is Long-term InterStim Therapy (step 2) Different from the Evaluation (step 1)?

During the evaluation, you wear a temporary, external neurostimulator on your waistband. In long-term InterStim Therapy, the long-term neurostimulator is placed under your skin during a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, so the neurostimulator is internal rather than outside your body. You control the neurostimulator with a hand-held programmer that works like a remote control to turn the stimulation up and down or on and off.

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