InterStim® Therapy Now Available to Treat Chronic Fecal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2011
WORCESTER - UMass Memorial Medical Center announced it is
offering a new treatment
option for patients with the debilitating and stigmatizing condition of chronic
fecal incontinence who have not found relief from more traditional treatment
options. UMass Memorial is currently the only medical center in Massachusetts to
implant the pacemaker-like device since April 2011 FDA approval of this new
According to a National Institutes of Health-funded study, more than 18
million Americans suffer from bowel incontinence problems, and as a result they
often struggle with everyday activities, such as traveling, working or spending
time with friends and family. Now, UMass Memorial is offering InterStim® Therapy
for Bowel Control, a minimally invasive option proven to improve or restore
bowel control. The therapy was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
this past April.
"Fecal incontinence is a life-altering condition," said Paul
Sturrock, MD, UMass Memorial colorectal surgeon and assistant professor of
surgery at UMass Medical School, who specializes in pelvic floor disorders and
minimally invasive surgeries. "Some patients are debilitated and become
homebound out of fear of having an accident. They won't go out or travel more
than a few minutes away from a bathroom, and they carry a change of clothes at
all times, just in case. We're very excited to finally be able to offer
something more for these patients.
"This isn't a cure, but for someone
who has been housebound because of fecal incontinence, it can provide a measure
of relief that allows them to regain control of their lives," said Dr. Sturrock,
who is certified in the procedure and has already begun implanting patients and
conducting evaluation tests on several others -patients for whom he had no new
treatment to offer until now.
"We strive to be innovative and provide comprehensive services for all
conditions that affect the lower gastrointestinal tract," said Justin
Maykel, MD, chief of colon and rectal surgery at UMass Memorial Medical
Center and assistant professor of surgery at UMass Medical School. "By keeping
at the forefront of our field, we can often be the first to offer services
regionally, right here in Central Massachusetts. We are thrilled that Dr.
Sturrock has the experience and expertise to bring this exciting new procedure
to our community."
The implantable InterStim system uses mild electrical stimulation of the
sacral nerves to influence the behavior of the pelvic floor muscles and bowel.
As a result, the therapy significantly reduces fecal incontinent episodes for
many patients. InterStim Therapy is the only bowel control treatment option
that allows patients and physicians to determine probable success of the therapy
through a test stimulation procedure prior to committing to long-term
Originally approved by the FDA in 1997 for urinary urge incontinence,
InterStim Therapy now can be used for both urinary control and bowel control in
many countries, including the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. To
date, more than 85,000 people have received InterStim Therapy worldwide.
Fecal incontinence is more common in adults, predominately women, and it is
not a normal part of aging. Fecal incontinence can be caused by a variety of
factors, including damage to the nerves or muscles in the rectum caused by
childbirth, or other pelvic health disorders.
For more information or to consult a colorectal surgeon, call
About UMass Memorial Medical Center
Medical Center is the advanced tertiary care referral center for Central New
England. The Medical Center offers a full complement of sophisticated technology
and support services necessary to provide the region with specialists renowned
for their work in areas such as cardiology, cancer, diabetes and orthopedics. To
learn more about UMass Memorial, please visit www.umassmemorial.org, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Important Safety Information about InterStim Therapy for Bowel
InterStim Therapy for Bowel Control treats fecal
incontinence (an accident or leaking involving stool). It should be used after
you have tried other treatments such as medications and dietary modifications
and they have not worked, or if you are not a candidate for them.
You should have a successful trial assessment before receiving InterStim
Therapy. You cannot have diathermy (deep heat treatment from electromagnetic
energy) if you have an InterStim device.
Safety and effectiveness have not been established for pregnancy and
delivery; patients under the age of 18; or for patients with progressive,
systemic neurological diseases.
In addition to risks related to surgery, complications can include pain at
the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration,
device problems, interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment
such as MRI, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, and uncomfortable
stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling).
This therapy is not for everyone. Patients should consult their physician to
decide whether InterStim Therapy is right for them. A prescription is