Sacral Nerve Stimulation as a Therapy for Patients With Refractory Voiding and Bowel Dysfunction

Noblett KL1, Buono K. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Dec;132(6):1337-1345. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002968.

Author information

1 Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Irvine, Orange, California.


Sacral nerve stimulation delivers nonpainful electrical pulses to the sacral nerves that modulate the reflexes that control the bladder, bowels, and pelvic floor musculature. This relatively simple procedure was generated to improve and restore function in patients with a variety of pelvic floor disorders. Currently this therapy is approved for use in patients with urgency urinary incontinence, urinary urgency-frequency, nonobstructive urinary retention, and fecal incontinence. This review includes the history of this treatment modality, explains the mechanism of action, and describes the procedure for implantation of this device. Additionally, advancements in this treatment over the past two decades and landmark literature to date regarding sacral nerve stimulation are reviewed. Current literature regarding off-label uses of this treatment modality for a variety of pelvic floor disorders is also discussed.

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