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About Sacral nerve stimulation

What is Sacral nerve stimulation?

All you wanted to know about sacral nerve stimulation

Sacral nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for bladder control problems, including urge incontinence, urinary urgency, and frequent urination. People who suffer from the problem of overactive bladder and who have not been able to get any good results from conventional treatment methods can benefit from this particular treatment.

What is sacral nerve stimulation?

Sacral nerve stimulation is a reversible treatment for patients who show symptoms of overactive bladder, such as failure to be able to postpone the need to urinate, the need to urinate 7-8 times in a day, and leakage of urine when one gets the urge to urinate. Also known as sacral neuromodulation, the procedure involves electrical stimulation of the sacral nerve at the base of the spine that control the bladder.

A small device, or a neurotransmitter is implanted under the skin in the upper buttock area where it is most comfortable and least noticeable. The device sends mild electrical impulses through a lead that is positioned close to a nerve located in the lower back or the sacral nerve. This helps influence the bladder, the sphincter and the pelvic floor muscles. The device doesn’t make any noise. You may feel it as a small bulge under your skin but it doesn’t normally show through your clothes.

It is a simple, outpatient procedure that is completed within 35-45 minutes. Patients are allowed to go back home the same day. People who undergo this treatment may experience pain at the implant site for 2-6 weeks after the surgery. This pain is caused by developing scar tissue and begins to disappear once the scar tissue forms. Doctors usually prescribe ice or medication to relieve the pain caused by surgery, along with antibiotics to prevent infection.

During the first 6-8 weeks following the procedure, patients are advised to avoid lifting and bending activities. Once the incision has healed, no special care is required.

Nerve stimulation therapy helps reduce or control bladder control problems greatly. The best thing about this treatment is that it can be completely reversed or can be discontinued at any time without causing any damage to the nerves.

Who is the best candidate?

The best candidates for this procedure are those who show symptoms of overactive bladder, such as

  • Urinary urgency-unable to postpone the need to urinate
  • Frequency of urination-the need to urinate minimum 8 times in a day
  • Urge incontinence-leakage of urine when one gets the urge to urinate
  • Non-obstructive urinary retention-the need for catheter to pass urine

Side effects:

Sacral nerve therapy is a very safe and non-invasive procedure. But every procedure has some risks. Some of the risks that are associated with the sacral nerve therapy are

  • Infection from device implantation
  • Mechanical failure of the device
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Undesirable stimulation and sensations
The above risks and complications are very rare if the treatment is performed by a trained and experienced surgeon or technician.

What is the Cost?

The treatment costs around $20,000 to $25,000 to treat symptoms related to overactive bladder. Since the cost can vary depending on the surgeon and your location, you must talk to your surgeon in Australia to get the exact cost.

Possible Alternatives: