About InterStim Testing
InterStim therapy is used to improve the colorectal health of patients dealing with fecal incontinence. This treatment utilizes an implantable device that sends electrical pulses to the sacral nerves to reduce the symptoms of bowel incontinence. What is unique about this procedure is that there is a testing simulation that is often performed first to determine if it is a good option for you and your body. InterStim therapy is an FDA-approved treatment that is typically reserved for patients who have tried medications and other behavioral or lifestyle changes with little to no success. Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery in North Houston and West Houston, TX is pleased to offer this innovative approach to men and women who have bowel movement issues that get in the way of their daily life. We invite you to reach out to our practice to meet with one of our board-certified colorectal specialists to learn more.
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Before the Exam
The first step is to schedule an appointment with our office so our team can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your colorectal health. During this time, we will review your general and family medical history, as well as the specific problems you have been experiencing. It’s also important to provide a list of medications and supplements you are currently taking.
From there, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for your testing simulation. You will need to keep an extensive four-day diary of your symptoms and bring it to your simulation appointment. It’s crucial to be as accurate as possible as this will provide a baseline of your regular bowel activity and can help determine the success of the InterStim simulation.
During the Exam
One of the many great benefits of InterStim therapy is that it's reversible. The advantage of completing the testing simulation before your therapy is to determine if this approach is right for you before making a long-term commitment.
The test will be performed in our office and will take about one hour to complete. We will have you lie comfortably on your stomach as your lower back or sacral area is numbed with a local anesthetic. From there, two temporary test wires will be placed under the skin. These wires will emit mild electrical pulses, and you will be asked to identify the location of the stimulation you feel. Once this is done, you will be given a stimulator box that will be connected to the wires, and you will run two different tests at home over the next week. During this time, you will need to continue to keep track of your bowel activity in a medical diary.
A follow-up appointment will be scheduled so we can review the results of your testing simulation. Depending on the outcome, we will discuss all of your treatment options. Our colorectal specialists may recommend that you move forward with long-term InterStim therapy, or we may evaluate other treatments that may help improve your bowel concerns.
Improve YOUR COLORECTAL HEALTH
Our caring team of colorectal specialists understands that discussing or getting treatment for bowel movement issues can be really embarrassing, but we are here to help. Thanks to the innovative InterStim system, we have treated thousands of patients who experience unexpected bowel movements or stool leaks with great results. Contact Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery in North Houston or West Houston, TX to schedule an InterStim consultation.