Interstim Patient Information

Initial Test:
After the initial or ‘office’ test, you will go home with a test stimulator.  You will be taught how to adjust this at the time of the test.  You will feel a mild ‘pulling’ or ‘tapping’ in your pelvic area.  This should be comfortable and not painful.  You will be asked to keep a voiding diary documenting the number of voids, any leakage and the urgency.  If you catheterize, you will be asked to monitor the volume of your catheterizations.  If you have bowel symptoms, you will be asked about improvement in your bowel function. 

It is important to wear loose fitting clothes to the test.  Also you must do minimal activity, not drive, shower or bathe during the test period.

Follow-up Visit:
You will be seen several days after the initial test in the office.  All the leads will be removed.  Your physician will review your symptoms and your voiding diary.  Together we will decide on your improvement and whether you wish to have the full system placed.  If you did not feel like your symptoms improved much, then you may still be a candidate for Interstim.  You and your doctor may proceed with a longer test which involves a short operation in the hospital.

Full System Implantation:
If you have a successful initial test then you may go ahead with the full system implantation.  This is done under a light sedation in the operating room.  The first part involves placing the lead in the same manner as in the office.  This will be similar to your initial test.  Once the position is confirmed you will be sedated and the generator will be placed through a small incision on the buttocks.

After the full system is implanted, you will undergo setting of the device to the proper level in the recovery room.  When you go home, limit your activity for the next week.  You may shower after 48 hours. A glue is usually placed over the incision, this can be washed.  It will generally come off after 2 weeks.  No lifting more than 15 lbs, bathing or swimming.  You may start light exercise such as walking 1 week after the operation.  Call if you get a temperature more than 101, you notice redness or draining for your surgical incisions.

You will be taught how to use the patient programmer prior to your leaving the hospital.  Often your spouse will be taught as well as you may be sleepy.  Make an appointment to follow up with your doctor in 1 month.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call for further information/instructions.    


Urologic Specialists of Northwest Indiana