A sacral nerve stimulator is an implantable device designed to help relieve symptoms of chronic pain, including pain caused by nerve damage, muscle discomfort, bladder or bowel dysfunction, and pelvic floor dysfunction. The device works by sending electrical signals to the sacral nerve, which helps to reduce the intensity of the pain signals and improve a patient’s functional independence.
Implanting a sacral nerve stimulator requires careful preparation and pre-operative evaluation. This begins with a consultation to evaluate a patient’s medical history and determine if they are a good candidate for the surgery. During this consultation, clinicians will discuss the risks and benefits associated with the procedure and the expected outcomes.
Next, imaging, such as an X-ray, may be performed to assess the anatomy of the lower spine and the proximity of the electrical device to the surrounding area. The device is then inserted into the lower back in a minimally invasive manner under the guidance of ultrasound imaging or other imaging methods. Once the device is correctly in place, an electrical current can be delivered directly to the sacral nerve in order to provide relief from pain symptoms.
The entire procedure typically takes approximately one hour with patients being discharged to go home shortly thereafter. Most patients experience minimal outages lasting up to two hours after the surgery, with the majority of the recovery occurring within the first week.
Post-operative care then involves regular evaluations with a physician to assess pain relief and physical response to the treatment.
It is important to note that results vary between patients and that sacral nerve stimulation is not a cure for chronic pain. However, many patients have found the implant to be helpful in relieving symptoms, providing increased independence and improved quality of life. If you are suffering from chronic pain symptoms, speak to your health care provider about whether a sacral nerve stimulator implant may be beneficial for you.