09 Oct UGSA Sacral Neuromodulation Information Sheet
To improve the symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), which is the frequent and urgent need to pass urine that can be associated with leakage of urine. Sacral neuromodulation (SNM) is a procedure that is used to treat women when their symptoms do not improve with bladder training and oral medications. Research shows that over 80% of women get significant improvement or cure with SNM and 70% of women remain satisfied at five years. Sacral neuromodulation is thought to work by restoring normal signalling between the brain and the bladder via a device that generates continuous electrical pulses. The other commonly used treatment for women with medication-resistant OAB is injections of botulinum toxin (botox) into the bladder. The main advantages of SNM are that the procedure involves a trial before commitment to the permanent device and that there is no risk of needing to self-catheterise. The main disadvantage of SNM compared to botulinum is that around a third of patients require a second operation within 5 years due to device problems or infection. Additionally, you may not be able to have MRI imaging performed with a SNM device implanted.