Is Sacral Neuromodulation for Incontinence Safe?

Posted on: 12th Nov, 2021


Anyone who has managed symptoms of incontinence understands the toll it takes and has likely tried any number of ways to remedy the solution. Almost always, these “remedies” aren’t remedies at all – just methods of managing the symptoms. The big exception is sacral neuromodulation. It’s normal to have questions about a treatment like this, and one of the most common typically relates to whether sacral neuromodulation for incontinence is safe. We’re happy to report that yes, sacral neuromodulation is incredibly safe and what’s more, it’s simple and highly effective in treating bladder leakage, overactive bladder and fecal incontinence.

A Silent Condition

Bladder or bowel leakage is very often a debilitating, frustrating and embarrassing problem. Whether you’re experiencing it directly or caring for a parent or loved one who has these bladder and bowel problems, it can be truly devastating in the manner it curtails a person’s social life and activities. Yet the problem is often ignored and left untreated by doctors and medical providers. Often this is because they simply don’t know there are very safe and effective treatments that are covered by insurance and solve the problem for good.

Many of the providers who neglect this devastating problem among their patients are only familiar with the long list of medications that don’t work very well. Worse, the main class of medications causes serious side effects of memory loss and cognitive impairment. The providers also likely have many patients among their flock who have had failed surgical procedures like mesh slings and other interventions which provided temporary improvement, inadequate relief, or worse, led to serious complications. What’s more, most of providers are not aware that sacral neuromodulation has been the most effective, safest, simplest, and easiest solution for these problems for over 20 years.

What is Sacral Neuromodulation?

Sacral neuromodulation is a big mouthful of a term that describes using a tiny pacemaker-like device to send a gentle signal to the pelvic floor to restore the complex muscle system of the pelvic floor. This is a lot like a cardiac pacemaker, a very successful therapy done as an outpatient procedure by non-surgeons who placed the device under the skin. Pacemakers count upon the fancy computer technology contained within the device to send a signal to the complex muscle system – heart or pelvic floor – to restore the normal heartbeat or continence. Both strategies have been immensely successful and are considered extremely safe and effective.

Sacral neuromodulation is done as an outpatient procedure lasting 20 to 30 minutes with some local anesthetic and a very light bit of sedation. There is no required “recovery” time, as the person walks out of the procedure with two small Band-aids, not a major procedure scar. Today’s sacral neuromodulation devices last 15 years or more and maintain their effectiveness with very little maintenance. The procedure is commonly performed for people across all ages – even for seniors in their 90s – with minimal side effects or discomfort.  It is a small price to pay for restoring bowel and bladder control and returning to a more active life.

If you’d like to learn more about this true resolution to incontinence, contact our office today. We’re happy to answer all of your questions.

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