Sacral nerve stimulation

Sacral neuromodulation

A treatment that can improve your quality of life by helping to regulate your bladder and bowel movements

About

By stimulating the relevant nerves in your lower back with mild electrical impulses, a neurostimulator device can improve the co-ordination between your brain and your bladder, bowels, pelvic floor and sphincter muscles. Your consultant may recommend this if other treatments haven't worked.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This procedure is made up of two parts: evaluation and implant. For the evaluation phase, your consultant will place a thin wire into your lower back near your sacral nerve. You'll be given local anaesthetic to numb the area. They will attach the wire to a battery, which you'll wear on a belt for the next few days.

    Your consultant will analyse the results to decide whether you should have a neurostimulator implant. If they think it could help you long term, they will replace the temporary wire with a permanent one and place a small battery into your lower back. Again, you'll be give local anaesthetic to numb the area. Both parts of the procedure take about an hour.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before your evaluation, your consultant will ask you to keep a diary of your bladder and bowel movements. They'll also ask you to do this during the evaluation phase so they can compare the difference. This helps them to decide whether or not a permanent implant could be the right course of action. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you have. They'll also tell you how to prepare for your procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After both phases of the procedure, you should be able to to go home on the day. Your consultant will let you know how long they want your evaluation phase to last. When you see them at the end of your evaluation, they'll discuss your results with you and make their recommendations.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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