I find that patients are able to live their lives like they were previously living them, before they had this condition. Most of the patients I’ve implanted have been very happy with the therapy. Not everybody has 100% results, but they do have a rather significant improvement in quality of life. That’s really what we’re looking for.
I think patients love not taking a medication, if possible. A lot of patients feel like if they take a medication, then they’re chasing side effects. I think they’d be willing to put up with the side effects and the expense involved with medications if they were getting the results they were looking for, but many times they fall short in that regard also. Patients would ultimately like to have a therapy that is efficacious and has minimal side effects. Sacral Neuromodulation fits the bill, in that regard, for a lot of patients.
One of the advantages of Sacral Neuromodulation is that we can do a test and figure out if somebody responds to the therapy before we do an implant. I think it’s really helpful to get an idea whether this is going to be a therapy that’s going to get the results one’s looking for before committing to an implant.
A lot of patients are excited to have another option that doesn’t involve another medication. It does make sense to question that if you’ve tried a number of medications, is another one really going to be that much better? Having something that’s totally different is exciting for patients. It’s nice to have something that works through a different mechanism of action than medications. That resonates with a lot of patients as to why this might be a reasonable option to consider. I’ve got some patients where it takes a little warming up to, for them to embrace the idea of a therapy like this. A therapy like this isn’t for every patient who walks in the door. Once again, my job is to give a patient options, and kind of figure out what’s going to work for their life and their situation. Then, let them go in a direction that works for them.
I find that patients are able to live their lives like they were previously living them, before they had this condition. It’s amazing how many patients will say, “Now I can go out to dinner and not worry about where the bathroom is. I can go to the store and not worry about where the bathroom is.” They will start venturing away from wearing black pants only. Patients are able to do things that keep them healthy and loving life. They’re often able to engage with grandchildren, engage with their spouses—do things that are considered normal.