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Implantable Device May Provide Urinary Control

Pee Problems:  Always gotta go or can’t go enough to empty?

A small device the size of two quarters surgically implanted under the skin in an outpatient procedure may provide relief for people who have urinary control problems, especially those who have failed overactive-bladder medications.

The device targets faulty communications between the brain and the sacral nerves which control the bladder. It sends mild electrical pulses to override communication miscues that keep certain urinary functions “switched on.”

The device helps those who urinate frequently and those who can’t empty their bladder.  Called InterStim® Therapy, it is not meant for urinary control issues associated with an enlarged prostate or other urinary blockages.

The device is implanted in the buttocks near the sacral nerve, which is above the tailbone. However, before it is implanted, a trial assessment with a similar external device is used first to see if the therapy is effective for the patient. The external device is attached to the patient’s waistband and worn for several days. The patient also keeps a urinary diary during the trial period.

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