What is sacral neurostimulation?

Sacral neurostimulation is a reversible treatment that uses a small device to electronically stimulate nerves controlling the bladder. When stimulated, bladder control issues can be improved or eliminated in some patients.

How is it done?

The sacral neurostimulator procedure is done in steps or stages. Before anything permanent is placed inside your body, a temporary test is performed to ensure there will be a response to a more permanent device placement. There is nothing permanent about the test to see if you are a candidate for sacral neurostimulation.

What to Expect

Stage 1 is designed to ensure that a sacral neurostimulator will help your urinary symptoms. Typically, the first step is done without the need for any sedation or general anesthesia. You will lie facedown so your urologist can identify the area on the back where the small wires will be placed. Using local anesthesia, a needle and tiny wire are placed alongside the nerve that controls the bladder. An electrical pulse is then passed through the wire. If the wire is in the correct place, the needle will be removed and the wire left in place. Following placement, you will be instructed how to take care of the temporary device and asked to keep a diary of urination symptoms over the next 5 to 7 days.

Five to seven days after wire placement, the wires will be removed in the office by your urologist. If there is improvement in your urinary symptoms after the Stage 1 test, you may move forward with a Stage 2 sacral neurostimulator placement. In this stage, a battery and more permanent wire is placed under light sedation. The device is completely hidden under your skin. Following the implantation of the device, you will be taught how to control the settings of the device in ensure improvement in urinary issues.

Make an Appointment

If you are interested in sacral neurostimulation therapy for overactive bladder in St. Louis, contact one of our experts with extensive experience.