What are the sacral nerves?The sacral nerves are located at the bottom of the spine and convey information between the pelvis region and the brain. This includes information to and from the colon and rectum, the urinary bladder, and the genitalia.
What is Sacral Nerve Stimulation?Sacral Nerve Stimulation is a therapy that delivers electrical stimulation to the sacral nerves to change the communication between the bladder, bowel, and brain. When a patient suffers bladder and bowel symptoms, like incontinence, stimulation of the sacral nerves can improve the signals between the bladder, bowel, and brain to reduce the unwanted symptoms. The sacral nerves are like messengers between the lower part of our body and the brain. They tell the brain when our bladder or bowels are full and need to be emptied. But sometimes, these nerves can’t do their job because of injuries, diseases, or other reasons. This can cause the bladder to be unable to empty (urinary retention), the need to urinate frequently and unwanted bladder accidents (overactive bladder (OAB)), or even fecal incontinence (FI). Overactive bladder can include symptoms such as:
- Sudden, strong urges to use the restroom even when the bladder is not full
- Frequent urination (urinating more than 8 times in a day)
- Nocturia (nighttime urination, or waking up to urinate more than 1 time per night)
- Incontinence (leaks)
How Sacral Neuromodulation worksOne of the great things about Sacral Neuromodulation is that you can try the therapy before committing to long-term therapy. The first step in the therapy is to undergo a test, or trial procedure. After a one-week evaluation period, the patient and physician decide if the test was successful in improving symptoms. While there can be complications with any procedure, Sacral Neuromodulation is a safe and recommended treatment for bladder and bowel conditions.
Conditions treated with Sacral NeuromodulationSome of the conditions that can be treated with Sacral Nerve Stimulation include:
- Overactive bladder (OAB)
- Urinary incontinence, including urge incontinence and mixed incontinence
- Chronic Urinary retention
- Bowel incontinence