Breakthrough Therapy for Fecal Incontinence Treatment
InterStim® (Sacral Nerve Stimulation) and Solesta® Injection
Most people feel more than a bit uneasy when they consider talking to their
friends, family, and doctor about bowel incontinence. If you suffer from the
inability to control your bowel movements, you are not alone. This condition
affects millions of people. According to the National Institute of Health, more
than 18 million Americans suffer from fecal incontinence.15% of women over age
50 experience FI. Men are affected but less often than women.
The surgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at RCRS
take a special interest in fecal incontinence and offer minimally invasive techniques (like InterStim®
Therapy) and office based injection therapy (like Solesta®) to help you finding relief
from the loss of bowel control.
Definition of FI:
Bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence (FI), prevents you from
controlling your bowel movements. You may experience unexpected leaks, or use
the bathroom very frequently. Some people experience a combination of these
Bowel incontinence is usually an acquired disorder. It may be caused by:
- Obstetrical injury from pregnancy or childbirth
- Stroke or advanced age
- Nerve or muscular damage caused by surgery or injury
- Conditions that affect the nerves, such as diabetes, Parkinson's
disease, and multiple sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
- Congenital disorders
Some people may suffer from bowel incontinence due to not being able to
sense a bowel movement, while others are able to sense a bowel movement but
can't hold it until they get to a bathroom.
Some people can reduce their bowel control symptoms with lifestyle changes,
diet modification, bowel retraining, Kegel exercises, or other kinds of
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help control the symptoms of bowel
incontinence. Medications used for bowel control problems offer a possible
solution and may include anti-diarrheal medicines.
Outcomes with conservative management are often poor and FI often persists.
Sphincter muscle surgery has been used with limited success. A colostomy
(“stool bag”) is common. It works well. Understandably we all prefer to avoid
New options to treat FI if conservative therapy has not been
1. Solesta® Injection Therapy
Solesta is composed of naturally made materials called dextranomer and
sodium hyaluronate. The gel is similar to the natural starches, sugars, and
tissue in your body. Solesta is an option after conservative methods have
failed, but before you consider undergoing surgery.
Improvements with Solesta:
Solesta can reduce fecal incontinence accidents (or loss of bowel control)
and provide long-lasting results. Solesta can also improve quality of life.
What’s more, Solesta is proven safe. In clinical studies, patients kept track
of their accidents and leaks in personal diaries after their treatment with
Solesta. Most patients noticed a reduction in accidents (of up to 60%) and
other changes that helped improve their lifestyle.
Here’s how it works:
Solesta is a gel that is given through 4 injections into the wall of the
anal canal. It helps give you more control by bulking up the tissue in the anal
canal. Since the injections are well tolerated by most patients, anesthesia is
not necessary. Solesta is injected during an office visit.
- The Solesta treatment procedure is done in your doctor’s office and
takes about 10 minutes
- No anesthesia is required
- You may resume limited physical activity immediately after the
- You can resume a normal lifestyle and all physical activities after 1
- Solesta may begin working soon after the procedure, with optimal
results at 3 months for many patients
- The effectiveness of Solesta continues over time. Solesta was shown to
be effective in patients for 2 years, and patients' results are still being
followed for a 3-year period.
To learn more about Solesta visit: http://www.solestainfo.com/patients/how_solesta_can_help.aspx
2. InterStim® Therapy
The surgeons at RCRS offer neuromodulation to selected patients
who have not had success with, or are not a candidate for, more conservative
treatments (see above).
InterStim® Therapy (SNS) is an FDA-approved neurostimulation therapy that
targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control
bowel function. If those nerves are not communicating correctly, the bowel
muscles may not function properly and may cause bowel control problems.
Neurostimulation can eliminate or reduce your symptoms to a tolerable level
and allow you to resume your daily activities and "get your life back".
Is InterStim Therapy (SNS) Right for You?
InterStim® Therapy is designed to minimize the symptoms of bowel
incontinence, including the leakage of liquid or solid stools.Prior to
undergoing a permanent implantation of the neurostimulation device patients
undergo a trial assessment. This lets you try neurostimulation to see if it is
right for you without making a long-term commitment. The trial assessment may
take a few to several days to complete.
Here’s how it works:
- InterStim® Therapy is an outpatient procedure that is performed in the
- Your doctor will implant a thin, flexible wire (also known as a "lead,"
and pronounced "leed") near your tailbone. The wire is taped to your skin
and connected to a small external device which you’ll wear on your
- The external device sends mild electrical pulses through the wire to
nerves near your tailbone. The stimulation may get your bowel working the
way it is supposed to. During the trial assessment, you'll wear an external
neurostimulator on your waistband for several days. You can continue many
of your low- to moderate-level daily activities with caution. You can
usually continue to work throughout your trial assessment if your job
doesn’t require strenuous movement
- You’ll be asked to document your symptoms. The trial assessment will
help your doctor determine the next course of treatment for your bowel
control problems. Your doctor or nurse will give you information about
operating the test stimulator. He or she will also tell you about any
precautions or activity restrictions related to the trial assessment
- If neurostimulation has worked for you in the trial period, a flexible
wire (also known as a “lead” and pronounced “leed”) and a neurostimulator
are implanted under the skin permanently. This is done during a minimally
invasive outpatient procedure.
Living with InterStim Therapy
InterStim Therapy may help you avoid frustrating experiences associated with
bowel incontinence.You may be able to do things you were not able to do before
receiving InterStim® Therapy – take long walks through the park, see movies at
the theater, or travel. While it may take a while to adjust to the therapy, you
should feel comfortable participating in the daily activities of living.
Remember:Even after you’ve
made a full recovery from surgery and resumed your normal routine, it’s
important to stay in touch with your doctor about any questions or concerns you
Please note: In order to
become a candidate for InterStim® or Solesta® therapy , insurance
approval is required prior to implantation of the Interstim device/ injection
of Solesta. Rest assured - Rochester Colon and Rectal Surgeons will not only
help you determine if InterStim or Solesta Therapy is right for you. We
will also work with you and assist you in obtaining coverage from your