InterStim Specialist

Urologists located in Pasadena, CA

InterStim services offered in Pasadena, CA

If you’ve tried all of the usual treatments for an overactive bladder, like medication, pelvic floor therapy, and dietary changes, and you still have urine leakage, it’s time to consider InterStim®. The skilled team at Pasadena Urological Medical Group specializes in advanced treatments like InterStim, a device that gives patients much needed relief from urge incontinence with a gentle, electrical impulse. To learn more about InterStim, call the office in Pasadena, California, or book an appointment online today.

InterStim Q&A

What is InterStim?

InterStim is a neuromodulation device that treats an overactive bladder (urge incontinence). The device uses mild electrical stimulation to regulate information sent from your bladder through the sacral nerves to your brain.  

Sensors in the bladder detect when it’s full and alert the brain by sending messages through the sacral nerves. As a result, you know you need to go to the bathroom, but when you urinate is usually under your control.

When you decide it’s time to urinate, your brain sends messages down the sacral nerves to your bladder and pelvic floor muscles. The messages relax the pelvic floor muscles (opening the urethra) while tightening the bladder muscles to push urine out.

If you have an overactive bladder, the signals get mixed up. Then you end up with a sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full. Mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves resets or regulates the messages sent to the brain and eliminates the urges.

What symptoms indicate I may need InterStim?

If you have an overactive bladder, you experience symptoms such as:

  • Sudden, strong urge to urinate that’s hard to control
  • Unintentional urine leakage right after the urge to urinate
  • Frequent urination (eight or more times in 24 hours)
  • Waking up more than twice each night to urinate

The urge can be so strong that you leak urine (a little or a lot) before you can get to the bathroom. These ongoing, unexpected, frequent urges can significantly disrupt your daily life.

What happens when InterStim is implanted?

Your InterStim implantation goes through two stages. The first stage is a trial to test-drive the device and find out how well it improves your symptoms. Your provider runs a thin wire under the skin in your lower back, placing lead wires near the sacral nerve at the base of your spine.

They connect the wires to a small generator that sends out the electrical impulses. For the trial, you wear the generator around your waist. After using InterStim for about a week, you decide if it works well enough to keep it.

If you want to keep the device, you have the second stage: Your provider implants the generator under the skin in your lower back. You have a handheld programming device that can turn the InterStim on and off and adjust the electrical impulse.

If you struggle with an overactive bladder, call Pasadena Urological Medical Group or book an appointment online today.