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InterStim® Testing Procedure

Treatment for Urinary Disorders
May 20, 2009
4:00 PM EDT
Your Time:
From Tampa General Hospital

Tampa, Fla. – More than 35 million Americans suffer from bladder control problems at some time in their lives. Those suffering from uncontrollable bladder may experience unexpected urine leakage, frequent bathroom use, or have the feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder. Many people experience a combination of these symptoms. Although it is more common in older adults, and more likely to occur in women than men, it can affect anyone.

For many of these people the last hope is an implantable device known as InterStim® Therapy, which was designed to stimulate communication between the brain and bladder to better control urinary incontinence and retention. Before the device can be implanted, however, doctors must perform a test procedure to determine if it will be effective.

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Tampa, Fla. – More than 35 million Americans suffer from bladder control problems at some time in their lives. Those suffering from uncontrollable bladder may experience unexpected urine leakage, frequent bathroom use, or have the feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder. Many people experience a combination of these symptoms. Although it is more common in older adults, and more likely to occur in women than men, it can affect anyone.

For many of these people the last hope is an implantable device known as InterStim® Therapy, which was designed to stimulate communication between the brain and bladder to better control urinary incontinence and retention. Before the device can be implanted, however, doctors must perform a test procedure to determine if it will be effective.

This test procedure was performed on May 20, 2009 at 4 p.m. on the Internet from Tampa General Hospital. The test involves placing a thin wire near the tailbone, which is connected to a small stimulator worn on a belt. The stimulator sends mild electrical pulses through the thin wire to the sacral nerves that control the bladder and muscles related to urinary function.

The test is an outpatient procedure typically completed in less than an hour. The patient is placed under a local anesthetic. After the procedure, the patient keeps a journal for a period ranging from five to ten days. If the electrical pulses result in an increase in proper bladder function, the patient may proceed to the surgical implementation procedure.

Raul Ordorica, M.D., Associate Professor, Division of Urology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, will perform the procedure to test the effectiveness of the InterStim® device. Dr. Ordorica has had extensive experience with Interstim® Therapy since it was FDA approved in 1998, and was the first to perform the implant at Tampa General Hospital. The procedure will be narrated by Mark Swierzewski, M.D., Florida Urology Partners.

InterStim® is unique because of the testing process. It allows the physician and patient to gauge its effectiveness prior to undergoing a slightly more invasive implantation of the permanent device. The physician will determine if the therapy is beneficial in helping to relieve the symptoms of uncontrollable bladder, including urge incontinence, urgency frequency, and urinary retention. This treatment is highly effective where other therapies have failed.

The procedure to place the wire for testing is frequently performed within the hospital setting either in the radiology suite or the operating room to benefit from fluoroscopy (X-ray) capabilities. If the testing is successful, the implant procedure is also done as an outpatient.

Complication rates are very low. The most common complication is that the device needs to be adjusted to assure patient comfort and therapy success.

To view this procedure, log on to www.tgh.org and click on the link on the homepage. If you are unable to view the live broadcast, the procedure will be archived at www.tgh.org and www.or-live.com for future viewing at your convenience.

Contact:
Jean Mayer, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Services, 813-844-4828

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