Sacral nerve stimulation is a procedure that uses mild electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves and muscles that control the bladder and pelvic region. The electric current comes from a small device implanted in the patient.
Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms, including:
- Urinary incontinence
- Overactive bladder syndrome
- Fecal incontinence
- Urinary urgency
- Urinary frequency
The therapy is used in patients where more conservative treatments have proven ineffective.
The procedure involves surgically implanting a small device, known as a neurotransmitter, under the skin in the upper buttock. The device sends mild electrical impulses through a lead that is positioned close to a nerve located in the lower back (the sacral nerve), which influences the bladder, the sphincter and the pelvic floor muscles.
The surgical implantation is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The procedure is done in two stages, allowing the physician and patient to test the therapy before implantation of the permanent battery.