An urgent need to urinate is caused by an over active bladder. People with this condition experience urinary incontinence.

Sacral nerve stimulation is a potentially effective treatment. It involves implanting an electrical device under your skin to make your bladder feel better.

This electricity can reduce symptoms of an over active bladder and other health conditions.

“Sacral nerve stimulation is often recommended when you don’t respond to earlier treatment options.”

Sacral nerve stimulation can help treat an over active bladder.

sacral nerve stimulation
Sacral nerve stimulation sends impulses to the sacral nerve to help the bladder function.
Illustration by Sophia Smith.

An overactive bladder is a common condition that affects about 12 percent of people and becomes more common with age.

Sacral nerve therapy gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997. More than 300,000 people have been treated with nerve stimulation since then. Conditions that it can treat include:

Sacral nerve stimulation works by stimulating the nerves that send signals back and forth from your brain and bladder.

Researchers are still examining the exact action of sacral nerve stimulation, but the most widely accepted theory is that it inhibits messages from the sensory nerves that send information from your bladder to your brain.

These sensory nerves can become overactive due to some neurological conditions or inflammatory disorders. The most commonly stimulated area is the root of your third sacral nerve (S3).

In a 2014 study, researchers found that in a group of 147 primarily female participants, sacral nerve stimulation showed better results than standard medical therapy for treating mild to moderate symptoms of an overactive bladder.

The people who received scull nerve stimulation had a success rate of 76 percent compared to 49 percent in the control group. Success was defined as an improvement in symptoms.

Sacral nerve stimulation may help people avoid the potential side effects of more invasive procedures, such as a surgery called augmentation cystoplasty.

Other potential benefits include:

  • Improving urine leak.
  • You need to urinate less often.
  • Your bladder capacity is improved.
  • Reducing urinary retention is done.
  • Quality of life is improved.

People with fecal incontinence may benefit fromSacral nerve stimulation.

About 30 to 40 percent of people develop complications within 5 years.

In a 2022 review of studies, researchers found that no life threatening or major irreversible complications had been reported from sacral nerve stimulation as of May 31, 2021.

If problems arise, surgical correction may be needed. Adding to the cost is possible with correction. It usually includes relocating the device due to pain or changing the location of the wire if it migrates.

In a study published in The Journal of Urology, researchers found the average 2-year and 5-years costs were $35,680 and $36,550, significantly more than another potential treatment option, Botox injections.

Other potential problems of sceltic nerve modulation include:

  • It is an infectious disease
  • The electrical shock.
  • device malfunction
  • The hematoma is abruising.
  • The benefit was discontinued.

An electrical device that looks like a pacemaker will be implanted under your skin. You will go through an evaluation or test phase to see if the device is effective for you.

Evaluation phase

You will be given a temporary device to see if your body will respond to stimulation. A wire will be inserted through your skin into your sccs by a medical professional. The device is on a belt.

This phase typically lasts about 2 or 3 weeks. In a study published in The Journal of Urology, researchers found that after a 3-week evaluation phase, symptoms improved in 62 percent of people.

42 percent of people who did not have success after the first week had an improvement in symptoms.

Implant phase

If your evaluation phase is successful and your doctor thinks you’ll make a good candidate, you’ll be offered an implant. A greater than 50 percent improvement in symptoms is usually considered successful.

The wire that connects your scc nerve to your skin is placed under your upper buttocks. If your initial test is not successful, your doctor will either recommend a new test or remove the wire.

If you have not found success with more treatment options, Sacral stimulation may be an option.

First-line medication options usually include anticholinergics or beta-3 agonists.

Your doctor can tell you if scudding the scull will help you. Some people may not be good candidates.

  • with urinary obstructions
  • with current pelvic It is an infectious diseases
  • With a rapid and severe neurological disease.
  • who are over age 55 and have three or more long-term health conditions
  • “The people who don’t respond to the evaluation phase.”
  • who are undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), although MRI-safe devices are now being introduced in the United States.

It’s still not clear if sacral stimulation is safe for pregnant people.

Is it covered by insurance?

Sacral nerve stimulation is covered by many insurance companies if the person does not respond to more conservative treatments or does not make good candidates for other treatments.

For example, Medicare plans supported by Blue Cross North Carolina cover sacral nerve stimulation when used to treat urinary urge incontinence. To qualify, you must show a 50 percent improvement in the evaluation phase and meet other candidacy requirements.

Sacral nerve stimulation is a procedure that involves placing an electrical device under your skin to cause your brain and bladder to communicate.

If more conservative treatments have failed, it may be an effective option. You can talk to the doctor about the procedure.

You will be given a short trial to see if it works.