Sacral nerve stimulation
Sacral nerve stimulation is carried out in 2 stages over a week or two. The first stage, called the peripheral nerve evaluation, involves temporarily stimulating the nerves in the sacrum to see if stimulation alters bladder function. If the test is successful, a permanent lead is placed into the sacrum and a permanent implant is inserted into the buttock area.
Both the test and permanent procedures are normally carried out as a day-case procedure under a general anaesthetic.
At the first stage the test electrode is connected to a device which generates electrical impulses. The device clips onto your clothing. When the implant is switched on, a tapping sensation can be felt in the genital or rectal area. The test is normally carried out over 7 days following which you will return to have the electrode removed and results discussed with you.
If the test is successful and shows that the stimulator alters bladder function then you will proceed to the next stage at a further date.
Stage 2 involves the permanent implantation of an electrode and impulse generator. The electrode will be implanted into the sacral nerve and the permanent generator will be placed in your buttock area. The implant will be switched on the same day and you will be taught how to use the patient programmer.
Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital is the only private hospital in the region to offer this treatment for urinary incontinence. Ask your doctor to refer you to Consultant Urologist Mr Nikesh Thiruchelvam and get your quality of life back.