InterStim Therapy- Dean - WI

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InterStim Therapy for Bladder Control Problems

InterStim Therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for overactive bladder and urinary retention. An implantable device created by Medtronic sends mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves to reduce symptoms of bladder control problems.

Symptoms and Treatment

If you suffer from one or more of these concerns, you have a bladder control problem:

  • Frequent urges to urinate (urgency-frequency)
  • Inability to hold urine/leaking (urge incontinence)
  • Inability to urinate (complete urinary retention)
  • Incomplete bladder emptying (partial urinary retention)

If you have a bladder control problem, there are several conservative, non-surgical treatment options available, such as:

If these conservative treatments have not worked for you, InterStim Therapy may be an option for you.

How InterStim Therapy Works

The sacral nerves, located near your tailbone, control the bladder. If these nerves don’t communicate correctly with the brain, the bladder does not function properly. 

InterStim Therapy stimulates these nerves so that they communicate with the brain for increased bladder control. Neurostimulation is a reversible treatment that can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device.

Neurostimulation may help you resume normal activities, and help you avoid frustrating experiences associated with overactive bladder. To learn more, visit the Medtronic website.

The Testing Period

The potential benefit of the therapy can be demonstrated by a trial assessment. The trial assessment takes 3-7 days and lets you try neurostimulation to see if it is right for you without making a long-term commitment. The test procedure uses an external stimulator and test system that can be placed in a 45-60 minute procedure.

During the trial assessment, you can continue many of your daily activities with caution. You can usually continue to work throughout your trial assessment if your job doesn’t require strenuous movement.

During your trial period, you will keep track of your urinary symptoms in a bladder diary. If your symptoms are significantly reduced or eliminated during the testing period, you may benefit from long-term use of sacral nerve stimulation.

To learn more, visit the Medtronic website.

Our Specialist

Dr. Jennifer Maskel is a board-certified urologist. She earned her medical degree in 2000 and completed her residency at the University of Wisconsin in 2005. Dr. Maskel has been performing InterStim Therapy since 2008. For more information about Dr. Maskel, please read her provider profile.

"The urology department initially began offering Interstim in 2008 and the Interstim program has rapidly expanded since that time. I saw a significant need in our patients that was not being adequately met with medications, lifestyle changes, or physical therapy. Hence the Interstim program was born.

Interstim therapy is appropriate for many patients who do not adequately respond to medication therapy, cannot take medications due to side effects, or do not desire to take medications for the rest of their lives. Deciding if a person is a candidate for Interstim therapy is a two-part process. There is a test procedure to determine if a person is a candidate, followed by implantation of a small device if the test improves symptoms significantly.

We began offering an in-office test to some patients in 2010 and currently Dean Medical Group is the only clinic in Madison to offer this option. The in-office test takes approximately 15 minutes compared to the 45-60 minute test and is an alternative for some individuals.

We have been very pleased with our success rates thus far."
Dr. Maskel

Take the Next Step

If the conservative treatments mentioned above have not been successful for you, contact your primary care physician or urologist to explore your treatment options. Dean Medical Group Urology can be reached at 608-294-6070.


Patient Testimonial

How New Technology, a Dedicated Doctor and Minor Surgery Solved One Woman’s Lifelong Battle with Incontinence

Over nearly 30 years, Patricia’s battle with incontinence had worsened.

She had seen many doctors, tried virtually every possible medication, suffered through a variety of harsh side effects and setbacks, and only saw her condition deteriorating.

Read about what led her to Dr. Maskel, and how she got her life back.

Related Health Resources

Information on Overactive Bladder (from Medtronic)

Information on Urinary Retention (from Medtronic)

Understanding Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence in Women

Urinary Incontinence in Men

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