InterStim Therapy

InterStim Therapy

Urinary and fecal urgency, frequency and leaks can make it uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing as men and women try to lead normal lives.

Penn Highlands Healthcare offers the InterStim therapeutic procedure, a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment that helps control urinary and fecal incontinence.

What is InterStim Therapy?

InterStim therapy consists of two procedures. The first procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia, implants a nerve stimulator outside the skin and provides more than 50% improvement.

The second procedure, implants a pacemaker under the skin. The device then sends mild electrical pulses to the network of nerve fibers that supply the muscles of the pelvis and lower limbs. Once in place, the device reduces bladder and bowel control symptoms.

What Causes Urinary and Fecal Incontinence?

Urinary and fecal incontinence can be caused by several factors such as:

  • Side effects of medication
  • Stress
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bladder damage
  • Childbirth
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pelvic floor issues
  • Surgery
Doctor Photo In Network
Pelekanos, Michael, MD

Obstetrics / Gynecology


Penn Highlands Urogynecology - Connellsville

Penn Highlands Urogynecology - Greensburg

What are the Symptoms of Urinary and Fecal Incontinence?

Common symptoms of urinary or fecal incontinence include:

  • A sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Frequent urination
  • Leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising
  • Waking up many times during the night to urinate
  • Urinating while sleeping
  • You soil yourself without realizing that you needed to move your bowels
  • Leaking fecal matter when you have flatulence (gas)

What Treatments are Available for Urinary and Fecal Incontinence?

For urinary incontinence, treatments include:

  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes (avoiding bladder irritants such as coffee and smoking, and weight loss)
  • Bladder control techniques
  • Medications
  • EnPlace procedure
  • InterStim procedure

For fecal incontinence, treatments include:

  • Dietary fiber supplements.
  • Anti-diarrhea medicines.
  • Pelvic floor exercises (sometimes done with biofeedback)
  • InterStim procedure

Who can Benefit from the InterStim Procedure?

People of all ages – male and female -- who suffer from urinary and fecal incontinence can benefit from the InterStim procedure.

How Long is the Recovery Time?

Patients typically return to their normal activities within three weeks following the procedure.

Does the InterStim Therapy Require a Referral?

Yes, the InterStim therapy requires a PCP referral.

Is InterStim Covered by Insurance?

Yes, the InterStim procedure is covered by many major insurance companies and Medicare.

View More

Conditions We Treat

  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Urinary Incontinence