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Thread: Sacral Nerve Stimulation

  1. #1
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Sacral Nerve Stimulation

    I've posted on this subject before under this topic Interstim

    My urologist thinks that the device may work for me. Next week (Sept 7) I'm going in to have the temporary device implanted (outpatient - takes about an hour). It's going to be in for 10 days - I'll have a control device to carry around. If it works they implant the device surgically - that is a more involved surgery requiring a hospital stay.

    I'll post here about my experience. I currently cath 6 times a day and do not leak (well, not much anyway). I take 7.5 mg of ditropan daily (3 x 2.5mg).

    One reason I'm posting a week before the procedure is in case someone has some information as to why I shouldn't try this. The way I look at it is that every SCI is different and the only way I will know if it will work for me is to try it. To me the cost (discomfort of the oupatient procedure and having a black box to manage for 10 days) is minimal compared to the potential benefit (not having to cath). If it doesn't work they will remove the temporary electrode I won't be any worse off then I am now.

    I appreciate anyone's input/suggestions.

    Mike

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003

  2. #2
    Our experience in using these for people with SCI is they work best to inhibit (stop) voiding to keep someone dry between caths. They rarely will work to cause urination or eliminate the need to cath.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Wanted to let people know that my procedure was rescheduled for Sept 28 because of Hurricane Frances (it was still bad around here on Sept 6 so they postponed all procedures for the 7th). I tried my best to get in sooner; but my urologist only does procedures on Tuesdays and he was already booked for the 14th and 21st. Of course, now it looks like the 14th wouldn't have worked either - Ivan is on the way. Hopefully there won't be anything to interfere with the 28th!

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003

  4. #4
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Hopefully Hurricane Jeanne won't mess up my appointment for this procedure next Tues. I read that I won't be able to shower or bathe while I'm in the testing phase. Was wondering if anyone had any good ideas on how to stay clean without showering (besides sponging down from the sink). My wife washes her hair in a sink sometimes but I really don't think I can bend over that far. Appreciate any ideas.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003

  5. #5
    We use these where I work for patients who cannot shower. I have seen these (or similar products) at some drug stores.

    Comfort Bath wipes

    The shampoo caps are a little harder to find.

    Comfort Bath Shampoo cap

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    The first part of the process went as advertised. I was in with the doctor for about 45 minutes. It was kind of like urodynamics with extra fun! They put a cath and something in my bowels with sensors. They also put sensors on my calves and feet. Then the doc gave me a shot to numb my back - felt like a bee sting. He then inserted one of the leads near the sacral nerve (they were watching on a screen but I was laying on my stomach) on one side. Then they applied electricity and then did the other side. On the left side I could feel a tapping in my penis and anus when they raised the level to around 3. On the right side I never felt anything (they raised the level to 5) but they said that they got a response from the probes.

    The doctor then taped everything to me. I'm allergic to adhesive so I couldn't use the normal tape so I ended up with a lot of paper tape on my back and on my side. I didn't expect the tape on my side - that is where they put the leads and the grounds.

    I then got dressed and went out to a room and talked with a guy from Medtronic. He showed me how to hook up the leads to the box, turn the box on, set the level and change the battery. He also showed me how to fill out the diary (every time I void). I'm going to have the left lead attached for 5 days and then switch to the one I couldn't feel.

    Like I said in an earlier post I can't shower for the test period. Also, I can't do some exercises - no getting down on the floor - the leads may slip out if I bend over too much or strain. I plan on still walking on the treadmill and doing exercises laying on my bed.

    I was at the hospital for about an hour and a half. The biggest thing now is the constant feeling in my anus. It doesn't feel uncomfortable but I'm not used to feeling anything there. The other big thing is the tape on my side (whenever I move it pulls). The guy from medtronics told me that people with retention problems usually don't get any results with voiding for 24 - 48 hours. I'll post updates as things happen.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Oct 2003

  7. #7
    i'm paying attention so keep this page updated...tks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Karupt, thanks for replying - it's nice to know that someone is interested. So far there hasn't been any change. I turned up the stimulator from 1.5 to 2. I've gotten used to the feeling in my anus and the tape on my side. If I don't think about it I wouldn't know they were there. I went to work today like normal. I'm spending more time in the bathroom because I either sit on the toilet or "stand" beside it for a few minutes to see if anything will happen before I cath.

    If there has been any change it is that the urge to urinate has decreased. I know that in other posts people have said that this system is really good for that - reducing urge incontinence. Normally when I wake up in the morning I need to go pretty bad. Today I didn't feel the urge at all even though I cath'd about the same amount. However, this was only one morning so I'll see if it continues.

    I ended up sleeping with the box laying beside me in bed. I thought I'd leave it clipped on my PJs and move it when I turned at night. Found it was easier to just lay it beside me and move it when I turned. It's got a flashing green light so it was easy to find in the dark. I hope my cats don't start playing with the wire (hopefully I'll wake up if they do).

    I'll take my first sponge bath tonight. Thanks nurse for the tips - we got one of the shower caps at the local WalGreens and if it looks like I'm going to get stuff wet leaning over the sink we'll use it. We also got some of the wipes and I used them last night to clean up some of the stuff the urologist left behind.

    The guy from Medtronics is supposed to call tonight to follow up.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Oct 2003

    [This message was edited by MikeC on 09-29-04 at 05:52 PM.]

  9. #9
    mike i hope it works out for you, one of my next steps will be a spinal stim for pain, hopefully My upcoming lumbar sympathetic nerve block will work. i guess if that gives good results the spinal stim may also give positive results

  10. #10
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Metro, good luck with your procedure - I have not heard anything about lumber sympathetic nerve block. Hopefully you'll keep us posted.

    Unfortunately I have nothing new happening with my SNS. I'm sure now that the urge to urinate has decreased - yesterday I cath'd 600 ml; usually I'm really uncomfortable if I get more than 400 in me and I wasn't uncomfortable at all. Today I'll change the leads from the left side of the nerve to the right side. Of course I'm hoping that shows some results.

    While using the left side I was slowly increasing the stimulation strength. I'm up to 3 now. I tried turning it up to 4 yesterday but it was too uncomfortable. On the right side I couldn't feel anything at the hospital so will start with it on 4. The doc told me not to go above 5 if I couldn't feel anything.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Oct 2003

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