Purpose of Technology

The staged approached to sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is a potential treatment alternative for patients with severe fecal incontinence (FI) who have tried other therapies but failed to find relief. SNS involves the implantation of an electrode among the sacral nerves that is then connected to an external pulse generator to facilitate a temporary, trial stimulation. During this trial, electrical stimulation is applied to the sacral nerves in an attempt to enhance the patient’s ability to maintain continence. Patients that experience at least 50% relief in their FI symptoms during the trial stimulation are then candidates for permanent implantation of a pulse generator.

Relevant Questions

  • Does SNS effectively improve quality of life and disease severity for patients with severe FI?

  • Is SNS safe?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for SNS?

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