InterStim for Fecal Incontinence
More than 5.5 million Americans have fecal incontinence. It is more common in women and adults over the age of 65. Symptoms of fecal incontinence include frequent bowel accidents, planning activities around the bathroom, monitoring what and how much you eat, and using pads and protective garments. Bowel accidents may be due to the inability to control urgency or lack of bowel habit awareness. If dietary changes, bowel retraining, or anti-diarrheal medications do not provide relief, there are advanced therapies now available.
Interstim is an implantable device that is thought to correct the miscommunication between your bowel and your brain to help control the symptoms of chronic fecal incontinence. Patients who are candidates for Interstim will undergo a short office procedure and then a 7 day evaluation period to see if their symptoms improve. Afterwards, they will discuss results with their physician to determine if Interstim is the right therapy. If the stimulation is successful over the course of the trial period, a permanent device can be implanted under the skin in the lower back.