What is InterStim Therapy?

Category: Procedures


InterStim® is FDA approved for urinary urge incontinence, nonobstructive urinary retention, and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency in patients who have failed to respond to, or could not tolerate, more conservative treatments.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Bladder problems 24 16
Bowel incontinence 6 3
Neurogenic bladder 6 1
Bladder leakage 1 1
Interstitial Cystitis 1 0
Multiple Sclerosis 1 0

Show all 7 reasons taken

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 0
Moderate 3
Mild 12
None 6

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with InterStim Therapy

Side effect Patients
Pain 3
Pain in lower back 3
Annoying sensation 1
Bladder problems 1
Bowel incontinence 1
Buzzing vibration sensation 1

Show all 12 reported side effects


Based on patients currently having InterStim Therapy

Dosage Patients
daily 3
as needed 2
one time 1
Adherence Evaluations
Always 19
Usually 1
Sometimes 0
Never taken as prescribed 1
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 0
Somewhat hard to take 5
A little hard to take 5
Not at all hard to take 11
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 2
$100-199 0
$50-99 0
$25-49 0
< $25 9
Not specified 10
Last updated:

4 patient evaluations for InterStim Therapy

16 members have decided to share their profiles only with other members of PatientsLikeMe.

45513 thumb
Data Quality: 1 star
  • Gender: F
  • Age: 35
Condition: Interstitial Cystitis 4 additional condition(s)
Quality of life:
  • Mental: Mild
  • Physical: Mild
I am: b
I have:
Interstitial Cystitis

See blujay's full InterStim Therapy history

May 17, 2012 (Started May 17, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for Bladder problems)
  • Side effects
    Mild (Pain in lower back, Slowness in bowell movements)
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: One time
Advice & Tips: The surgery itself took about 1.5 hours. When I woke up, I felt fine (obviously because I was still slightly anesthetized.) I've had a few days now to 'break in' my new implant. I'm still having some pretty severe pain at the incision site, but I'm assuming that will go away with time. As for efficacy, the implant is doing really well. I went from using the bathroom 20-25 times a day to only going about 5-10. That makes the entire thing worth the trouble. I will say honestly that the first few days, I had trouble urinating, as in I would sit down and it felt like it took 10-15 minutes to empty my bladder fully. I've been drinking lots of water since then, and it has been getting better. I'm still having trouble having a bowel movement when the implant is turned on. This might just be because of the pain from the wires that are implanted next to my tailbone. I plan to talk this over with my doctor when I get my dressings removed tomorrow. All in all, I'm happy I got the implant, and I look forward to a future that doesn't revolve around a bathroom.

  • 1 helpful mark
1226 thumb
Sex: F
Data Quality: 0 stars
Sensation: Moderate
Overall: None
Cognition: none
Vision: none
Speech: none
Swallowing: none
Upper limb: none
Walking: moderate
I have:

See DDK's full InterStim Therapy history

Feb 17, 2010 (Started Jul 16, 2009)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for Bladder problems)
  • Side effects
    Mild (Bladder problems)
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: All the time (24/7)
Cost: $200+ monthly
Side effects: Bladder problems

  • 0 helpful marks
1238 thumb
Sex: F
Data Quality: 1 star
Sensation: Moderate
Overall: Mild
Cognition: moderate
Vision: moderate
Speech: mild
Swallowing: none
Upper limb: mild
Walking: moderate
I have:

See rusty327's full InterStim Therapy history

Jan 22, 2010 (Started Aug 03, 2007)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Bladder problems)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Bowel incontinence)
  • Side effects
  • Adherence
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Advice & Tips: The impact this device has had on my daily life is incredible. I truly feel this is the best thing I could ever have done for myself and my ms symptoms. I have had the best possible outcomes, for which I am grateful. Not everyone who has the device regains as much as I feel I have. I am in a study now to investigate why this device may be more effective for some than for others and will report what is learned. The biggest downside is that you can not currently have an MRI (at least in the US) with the device in place. It is the wires, not the device (which is titanium) that supposedly interfere with the MRI's. In Canada there is a small number of MRI's being done on patients, and the manufacture is working on new wiring to replace the current type used. My surgeon feels it will be another 10 years before the FDA completes trials and approves another type of wire for use with MRI's. For me this is NOT a downside, but I can well appreciate how it would be for many MS'ers.
Cost: $200+ monthly
Side effects: Bowel incontinence

  • 2 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 4 patient evaluations for InterStim Therapy