(From the March 2013 Issue of MedStat)
Incontinence is typically a condition associated with adults; however, many children also struggle with incontinence – bladder, bowel or both. In order to help these children, doctors at Nationwide Children’s have turned to a device, typically used in adult patients, to help manage children with chronic incontinence.
The sacral nerve stimulator is a surgically implanted device that helps regulate the bowel muscles and/or urethral (bladder) sphincter to control fecal and urine flow. The implantation of the device and ongoing medical management address the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control bowel and bladder function.
Sacral nerve stimulation is a promising new therapeutic modality for children with incontinence. The two-stage procedure involves a test phase followed by permanent implantation of the electrical stimulator if the patient shows significant improvement in fecal and/or urinary incontinence during test simulation. The device is used as a last resort if the patient has tried other treatments such as medications and behavioral therapy. In addition to the surgical implantation, Nationwide Children’s provides medical management from an integrated team of specialists, including pediatric urologists, pediatric gastroenterologists and pediatric surgeons with unique expertise with complex motility disorders. To discuss the needs of your patient and whether sacral nerve stimulation may be an appropriate therapy, please call (614) 722-0448.