Sacral Neuromodulation or “InterStim” is a treatment option for patients with both bladder as well as bowel control issues. In addition, it can sometimes be a great treatment option for patients who are unable to empty their bladder adequately.
The InterStim device is thought to improve the communication between the brain and the bladder/bowel, thus addressing difficulties when other treatment options fail. As a result, Interstim is often thought of by patients as a “pacemaker” for the bladder and or bowel. Prior to placing the Interstim device, a basic test is done to evaluate the possibility of success. This test is called Peripheral Nerve Evaluation (PNE).
PNE is a 20 to 30 minute outpatient procedure typically performed under local anesthesia and mild sedation. It involves placing a very small temporary device to gently stimulate the nerves to the bladder and/or bowel for several days. If bladder or bowel symptoms improve, then a permanent device is often placed with great success.