This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving neurostimulation for the treatment of bladder control problems. Please bear in mind that the experience is specific to this particular person. Not everyone who receives InterStim Therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story.
My InterStim Therapy procedure and recovery went smoothly. I didn't need pain medication at all. And since I had experimented with stimulation settings during the trial assessment, we knew just the level I needed for it to be effective right away. The hardest part for me was not being as active as I wanted to be right after the procedure – my doctor said no running or lifting weights for 6 weeks. I haven't needed to cath since then. Today, I go to the bathroom every 4 to 6 hours, I don't get up at night, and I don't have any pain or pressure.
The best thing is that I can do almost anything now – go for 10-mile jogs, wear a bikini, golf, and eat and drink normally. I can make it all the way through a trip to the grocery store without a bathroom break, and I no longer have to keep catheters in my purse, at work, or in the car. Plus "seeing R.C." is a thing of the past!
Next: Barbara's Story
Although you should be able to do most activities you did before surgery, there are some activities which may cause discomfort or affect your implanted neurostimulator. Review the following information, and if you have any concerns or questions about these or other activities, contact your doctor.
Activities you should avoid – You should avoid activities that involve sudden, excessive, or repetitive bending, twisting, bouncing, or stretching. These movements could damage or move your implanted lead or affect the implanted neurostimulator. Examples of such activities include gymnastics, mountain biking, and any other sport or activity that involves the movements
Activities you can continue – Activities that should not affect your implanted InterStim Therapy system include running, jogging, walking, road biking, swimming, sexual activity, etc.
Medtronic invited this patient to share her story candidly. Not everyone who receives InterStim Therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if sacral nerve stimulation is right for you. In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications associated with InterStim Therapy can include pain at the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration, device problems, interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment such as MRI, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling), and others. Surgery is required to remove the InterStim Therapy system. Please refer to Important Safety Information. Always discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your physician. This therapy is not for everyone. A prescription is required.