My local paper today carried a story about a surgical treatment for fecal incontinence called InterStim Therapy System. Nearly 18 million American adults have fecal incontinence according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. That's about 1 in 12 adults. This is an outpatient surgery covered by most insurances. A neurotransmitter disc is implanted in a buttock and a wire carries an electrical impulse to the sacral nerve which controls bowel function. The person has a better connection to the brain so the person has a better sensation of when to go.

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My mom is currently considering the inter-stim for bladder incontinence, however she also has some bowel too. They explained there could be a positive effect on her bowel area too, but this is a urologist not the gastrologist she sees.

Pam, so it is used off-label for fecal incontinence or only for urinary?

It's approved for women with non-obstructive urinary incontinence and about 60-70% successful. You cannot be obese or have a structural defect, like a prolapse or cystocele. It is for treating the nerves to strengthen the pelvic floor. It stimulates the S3 nerve at the lower end (sacral) of the spine.

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