Permanent Sacral Nerve Stimulation
When is this performed?
All patients having a permanent implant will first have had a temporary test wire. Those benefiting from this will be offered a permanent stimulator.
What other tests are necessary before the operation?
Unlike the temporary wire, the permanent sacral nerve stimulator is inserted under general anaesthesia and so you will need routine investigations needed by everyone before a general anaesthetic to determine your general fitness. You will have had all the pelvic floor tests you need prior to your temporary test wire.
What does the operation involve?
The permanent sacral nerve stimulator is inserted under a general anaesthetic. A fine needle is passed through the skin of the buttock with you lying on your front, as for the temporary wire. Rather than bringing the stimulator wire out through your skin, however, it is tunnelled under the skin and connected to a little box surgically inserted through a 5cm long incision in your upper buttock. This box looks like a cardiac pacemaker and is the size of a small matchbox. Apart from the small scars, there are no external wires or equipment after permanent implantation of sacral nerve stimulator.
What is the recovery like after surgery?
Post-operative recovery is rapid and the patient will usually be allowed home on the same day or after a one night stay in hospital.