Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) is an FDA approved treatment to restore bladder function by stimulating the sacral nerves. The sacral nerve is responsible for delivering signals between the brain and the bladder. SNM helps control these signals, so that the bladder can function normally.
A neurostimulator generates mild electrical pulses, which stimulate the sacral nerve, and normalizes the communication between the bladder and the brain, helping to control symptoms. Unlike oral medications that target the muscular component of bladder control, SNM controls the symptoms through direct modulation of the nerve activity.
If your doctor thinks you may be a good candidate for SNM, he or she will begin an evaluation phase, which lasts around 3-4 days and is designed to see if SNM will be a successful option for you. During this time, a thin, temporary wire will be inserted in your lower back, near the sacral nerves which control the bladder, and will be connected to, and controlled by a device, which delivers electric stimulation to the sacral nerve. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms over the course of this evaluation period, and, if successful, the temporary wire will be removed and a more permanent device, similar to a pacemaker, will be implanted just under the skin.
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