Preliminary Results of Sacral Neuromodulation in 23 Children

Mitchell R. Humphreys, David R. Vandersteen, Jeffery M. Slezak, Pam Hollatz, Craig A. Smith, Janet E. Smith, Yuri E. Reinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: Sacral nerve stimulation with InterStim® is approved in the United States for use in adults. Limited data on the effectiveness of sacral nerve stimulation in children are available. We report our experience with patients who underwent InterStim placement for the treatment of severe dysfunctional elimination syndrome, which is defined as a constellation of functional urinary and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients without anatomical anomalies or obvious neurological disease, in whom intensive medical and behavioral therapies have failed to improve symptoms. Materials and Methods: A total of 23 patients 6 to 15 years old with presenting symptoms of dysfunctional voiding, enuresis, incontinence, urinary tract infections, bladder pain, urinary retention, urgency, frequency, constipation and/or fecal soiling were followed for a mean of 13.3 months after InterStim placement. Results: Of the 19 patients with urinary incontinence 3 (16%) had complete resolution, 13 (68%) had improvement, 2 (11%) were unchanged and 1 (5%) was worse (sign test, p = 0.002). Among the 16 patients with nocturnal enuresis 2 (13%) had resolution, 9 (56%) improved, 4 (25%) were unchanged and 1 (6%) was worse (sign test, p = 0.0063). Of the 15 patients with urinary retention requiring intervention 9 (60%) had improvement and 1 had worsening symptoms (sign test, p = 0.022), while 2 of 6 patients (33%) on intermittent catheterization were able to stop. One patient had development of new incontinence and enuresis. Bladder pain, urgency, frequency and constipation improved in 67% (8 of 12), 75% (12 of 16), 73% (11 of 15) and 80% (12 of 15) of the patients, respectively. Medications required postoperatively decreased by an average of 3 per patient (p <0.001). The overall patient satisfaction rate was 64%, while that of the caregiver was 67%. Two leads were explanted from the 23 patients. Complications encountered included 1 seroma, 1 episode of skin sensitivity, 2 device failures and 1 lead revision. Conclusions: Sacral nerve stimulation in children is an option for carefully selected patients who have failed other therapies. Our results show that sacral nerve stimulation was effective in the majority of patients with the dysfunctional elimination syndrome. However, longer followup is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2231
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • electric stimulation therapy
  • electrodes
  • elimination disorders
  • implanted
  • pediatrics
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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