Bowel Incontinence Options

InterStem offers new hope for those suffering from bowel incontinence

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) With age, people often over-emphasize the importance of bowel movements. An absence of a daily movement can lead to panic and stress. What about those that have the opposite problem?

Current therapies are wanting, but a new procedure is offering hope. Researchers from Chicago report that a new procedure, called InterStim is available for the treatment of chronic bowel incontinence. 

"If suffering from bowel incontinence, investigate InterStim Therapy."

Anne-Marie Boller, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago, IL reports that bowel control issues have a significant, detrimental impact on a person's emotional health. Patients can be affected with everyday activities and choose not to enter social situations due to a possible embarrassment stemming from their bowel control issues.

The currently proposed treatment could be a tremendous advantage and take giant steps to improve patients' quality of life.

Recent studies have shown InterStim Therapy works to reduce or eliminate bowel incontinence in 80 percent of patients. This therapy involves three steps: Stimulation through a test, appropriate surgical implant and post-implantation follow up. During the initial phase, a thin wire is placed to stimulate the sacral nerve.

Then, doctors can determine if the patient is likely to benefit from the therapy before moving forward with the protocol. If the stimulation phase is successful, a long-term neurostimulator device, is then implanted in the rear of the patient. The device is tailored to suit the patient needs.

Given time, it can be controlled by the patient using a remote control. The final part of treatment is follow-up care.

Amy Halverson, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Northwestern Memorial reports that until now, few successful treatments have been available to treat bowel incontinence. She adds that this therapy is an exciting option giving patients their freedom socially by eliminating the horrible symptoms. She looks forward to offering this option to her patients.

Dr. Halverson who is also an associate professor of surgery in the division of gastrointestinal and oncologic surgery at Feinberg School of Medicine explains that people should not be embarrassed and not report their symptoms because they assume it is a consequence of getting older.

Bowel incontinence can be unpleasant, but with the advent of new therapies, symptoms can be relieved leaving you to take back control of your life.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 22, 2011
Last Updated:
August 1, 2011