Urology Services

Interstim Therapy and PTNS

InterStim Therapy

InterStim Therapy is a type of neuromodulation that has been FDA-approved since 1997 for urge incontinence and since 1999 for urinary retention and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency. InterStim Therapy is not intended for patients with a urinary blockage. Sacral neuromodulation works with the sacral nerves, located near the tailbone. The sacral nerves control the bladder and muscles related to urinary function. If the brain and sacral nerves are miscommunicating, the nerves can't tell the bladder to function properly.

InterStim Therapy modulates the sacral nerves with mild electrical pulses. This helps the brain and the nerves to communicate so the bladder and related muscles can function properly. InterStim Therapy is a reversible treatment that can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device. Sacral neuromodulation may help you resume normal activities and help you avoid frustrating or embarrassing experiences associated with overactive bladder. InterStim Therapy may reduce symptoms for many people who suffer from overactive bladder. InterStim Therapy is reversible and can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device. Unlike other surgical treatment options for OAB, InterStim Therapy starts with an evaluation, where you can experience how it feels and see if it will help reduce your symptoms, prior to going forward with the implant procedure.

Implanting an InterStim Therapy system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.

  • Pain at the implant site or new pain
  • Infection or skin irritation
  • Lead (thin wire) movement/migration
  • Device problems
  • Interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment
  • Undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function
  • Uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling)

Problems may be resolved with surgery, medication, or reprogramming. These events may also resolve over time. There is a possibility that some may remain unresolved. See Important Safety Information for possible adverse events.

This therapy is not for everyone. Please consult your doctor. A prescription is required.  For additional information visit Medtronic.

PTNS (Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation)

PTNS is another type of neuromodulation therapy.  PTNS is an office treatment that can be completed in approximately 30 minutes (up to 12 treatments).  A needle electrode is placed near your ankle and sends electrical impulses to your tibial nerve which runs alongside your knee to the sacral nerve.  The intention of PTNS is to block the signals to the nerves that are not working properly and are causing overactive bladder.

You can find additional information about PTNS by visiting the Urology Care Foundation or at the UrgentPC website.