No announcement yet.

Reporting Interstim Failures to FDA

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Reporting Interstim Failures to FDA

    Greetings Everyone.

    While Interstim has helped some patients, for others it has been a failure. If you had a negative experience with Interstim (i.e. serious adverse events, potential and actual medical product errors, and product quality problems associated with the use of Interstim), you should consider filing a report with the FDA's Medical Products Reporting Program.. aka Medwatch.

    It's VERY important that the FDA has an accurate record of problems with any medical device. Reports can be filed by patients, or doctors or the company. Reports can be filed anonymously to protect your privacy and/or with your name.

    For more information, please visit their web page at:

    Would you like to talk with someone about your IC struggles? The ICN now offers personal coaching sessions that include myself, Julie Beyer RD on the diet and Dr. Heather Howard on Sexuality.

    Looking for books, magazines & reports on IC? Please visit the ICN Shop at: Your ICN subscription & purchases in our shop support these message boards, chats and special events. BECOME AN ICN ANGEL TODAY!

    Please remember that the information on the ICN is provided with the understanding that ICN, its founder, staff, volunteers, and participants are not engaged in rendering medical or professional medical services. We cannot and do not give medical advice. Only your personal physician can do this for you.

  • #2
    I am 100% with Jill on this one. I would hate for people to think that this is a cure, or even something that has the same effect on everyone.

    Thankx for posting it Jill
    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".


    • #3
      This makes me feel even more like cancelling my surgery!


      • #4
        I am almost a 100% better since having the InterStim and I think it really depends on your condition and how you body accept it too!!!
        I do agreed that is not a cure for pain for IC patients but it does sure help in the area of frequency and urgency in these people..
        Kara, if you are not sure go to your doctor and make a list of the pro and con of this surgery ok !!!
        In any kind of surgery they is also some kind of risk with any out come too....

        Jill thanks for posting the information!!
        I also think it is real important that anyone doing this procedure have the information of the procedure and a well knowledge Urologist doing this procedure too!!

        Thinking positive has got me through to another day!!


        • #5
          Thanks Jill. Interstim is very new!(1997) and appears to have alot of things to work out. We definetly need to report problems.It seems to work for some and not for others.
          Appreciate that you are always on top of things


          • #6

            I think it is important for people to know when you post how much interstim has helped you that you do NOT have IC and on a few of your posts you have stated that. You had your "bladder muscle die overnight" and that is why you could not urinate and that is not an IC problem.

            Please do not be offended my this post. I just want others to get all the information, especially when someone says Interstim helped them so much, and they are making a decision to have the surgery.

            I am in interstim failure.



            • #7
              Boy Jill, looks like an interstim debate coming up

              I am a complete interstim sucess. I had my surgery done in Sept 1999. My symptoms were urgency, frequency, retention, and pain. I had been thru all the oral meds available but they caused retention, therefore, meds for me are ruled out, even to this day. I had so many different combos of DMSO that I can't remember. I was having cysto's and hydrodilations every 6-9 months. I had tried everything except the BCG. My uro said that the lining of my bladder was bad enough and he didn't want to even try it. I had an 'x' uro who cauterized my bladder lining 'in hopes' that it would regrow healthy.....dropped that guy, to this day I blame him for the pain I've been in since 1994.

              I was house bound from the time I had my bladder suspension in 1994 until my surgery in 1999 because I was going to the bathroom every 15=20 minutes. I was also cathing 3 to 4 times a day. My life was a living hell.

              When the interstim was offered to me, I was out of options and had nothing to loose. I was totally shocked when I learned that a 'normal' person pees 5-7 times a day. I didn't have a clue that I was "THAT" different. My hubby and I thought long and hard before we took the step and made the decision to have something so permanent done. I was scared to death but honestly, I felt that I had nothing to loose because I wasn't really living anyway.

              The surgery for me has changed my life 100%. I am one of the lucky ones and my heart breaks for the people who don't get the relief that I have gotten from the surgery. I still have bad days.....the surgery hasn't given me a 'normal' bladder. I still have IC. I still have some nights where I get up 5 times to pee (last night was one). There are still days when I have to self cath. I am NOT CURED. But, my symptoms are sooooooo much easier to live with now.

              I still can't let a baby sit on my tummy. I still can't wear jeans unless they are loose fitting (found that buying tall sizes helps me there) and there are days that I can't even stand to have the feel of underware on, but my syptoms are still 100% better and my quality of life is 100% better than before my surgery.

              Today I am a pain patient. No more pills for this or that. Praying for the miracle drug that will help me with my IC ~ the interstim has been my miracle. I still pray for the cure, but the interstim HAS been a great sucess for me and I DEFINATELY have IC.

              This implant was never even intended to treat IC. I think that that point has been made here time and time again. This is such a personal decision and it should be made with your family and dr, not by any of us posting here. Our posts are to share our story of what this implant has or HAS NOT done for each person.......NO ONE here is or ever has suggested that anyone should or shouldn't have this surgery, WE ARE SHARING 'OUR OWN STORY', NOT GIVING MEDICAL ADVICE and I think it's so important for every one on the board to remember that.

              Jill is so right. It's important that ALL the results of the interstim in regard to IC be reported. Nothing should be held back, good, bad or indifferent. It's important for the FDA to know. We ALL want a cure. It's thru trial and error that someday there will be a cure.

              Sorry to have gotten up on a soap box here. I am passionate about IC and all who suffer with this stinkin' disease, with ANY disease. Debbie has done a wonderful job on this board. She has been totally open and honest. She has given her story from a different bladder problem.....I am giving mine as an interstitial cystitis patient. We are ALL sisters with a bladder disease, doesn't really matter what name we have infront of it. What matters is that we are here for each other........

              Hugs to ALL teri
              Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".


              • #8
                I think that the success stories here on the board tend to be more from people who had to use a catheter on a regular basis before the implant. Maybe we need to here from more success that were not in that situation.
                I still believe that you also have to determine what is your goal and what is sucess for you. My bladder went from holding 35-50 ml to holding 110m ml. This is still barely normal. It depends on the individual if they feel that is a sucess. If it is complete recovery and you have IC, I do not think you will get it from the interstim.


                • #9
                  Thanks Maureen for your post, I agree because the majority of IC patients do not have to cath. I've had severe IC for about 10 years and am on disability for it and have never had to cath.



                  • #10
                    Lisa, yes you are right I do not have IC but I do have Pelvic floor dysfunction and been ill with bladder problems over 18 years.
                    I had 14 cystoscopic and 2 hydrodistention..
                    Done instillation of DMSO and Heparin and been on Elmiron and all sort of medication that lead up to being misdiagnosed with IC .. Then the bladder muscle went, which I am refering to the urethra tube too!!!
                    I ask to be the moderator on this board, was
                    to give SUPPORT ,and to let them know what the surgery was about and to answer questions and to let them know I am here for them , I am in no WAY pushing anyone on here to do the InterStim at all !!!
                    I know is does not help some ,but also there are some with great results and it is no means a cure for IC at all..
                    Thanks Teri, and I sure did not want this to start any kind of problem on this board at all !!!!!!
                    I am sorry Jill that this has started something !!
                    It is most important to report any kind of problem for sure !!!!

                    [This message has been edited by DebbieB (edited 02-12-2001).]
                    Thinking positive has got me through to another day!!


                    • #11
                      Thank you Terri for the encouraging side of Interstim. I too am out of options, I go every hour and with my period every 10 minutes or less. I have tried it all except BCG, which I did not want to do. My symptoms of IC are livable but I am only 23 and I want to be able to make love to my fiance, soon to be husband with out peeing every 3 minutes. I'd like to be able to sit through a movie, ride in the car for more than 30 minutes with out having to find a rest stop, watch TV with out having to miss something, and work at least 2 hours with out having to run to the bathroom and interrupt what I am doing. I do have pain but it's not constant and I know that Interstim is not for that. My doc thought I would be a perfect for the Interstim becasue my main complaint is frequncy and urgerncy. I can live with the pain once in awhile, yeah it sucks but it's better than being in pain all of the time and part of my pain is the urgency which was relieved during the trial.

                      I'm just scared of the surgery. Being put to sleep for a long time and such....all of the other nerves that go along with surgery.

                      But I am goint through with this and I am trying to keep positive as my doctor is.



                      • #12
                        I am an IC patient who never had to cath and for whom interstim has been a success. My frequency is cut in half, I can sleep through the night and I have a life again. I still flare at times but even in a flare I can sleep at night and frequency is still pretty good. Interstim does not help pain and any doctor who tells you otherwise should not be your doctor.

                        I too would not suggest that this surgery is for everyone, but it has dramatically changed my life for the better.

                        I think it would be important to know how much improvement people who have had unsuccessful implants really had on the test stim. Are the protocols being carefully followed? Also, how much experience does the surgeon have with the implant and what is his success rate.

                        I certainly have been surprised at times by posts which describe less than 50% improvement with the trial and yet the person is reccomended for permanent implant.

                        Obviously there will always be treatment failures, and maybe interstim is not as good as some of us think it is. I would like to see a more careful analysis of treatment failures to help guide patients and physicians in knowing more about who should really have the implant.

                        To those for whom the interstim has not worked I am so sorry and hope something will soon be found to make your life better.

                        To those who are scared to have the surgery-don't do it unless and until you are comfortable with doing it.

                        That said, I must also add that as surgeries go (and I have had many) it is pretty easy and not very painful. I think it takes more courage to live with IC every day than to try the interstim surgery-but only if you want to and understand the risks and that it might not work.

                        May you all find relief and better days ahead. Ruth


                        • #13
                          Interstim DOES and CAN help pain for some patients and there have been people that have posted that it has relieved their pain. So, I do not understand why a few people keep posting that it does not help pain and that their doctors are incorrect it they tell them that it can. My main problem is pain and that was a big deciding factor in my decision to try the interstim surgery. Dr. Siegel, a leading expert on Interstim, mentioned in his "ICN Meet The Expert" chat that it CAN help pain. Please refer to a copy of that transcript on this site. He also has published study results showing that Interstim has helped patients with pain. I know a patient that was in severe pain and now is pain free from her surgery, she was an inspiration to me to try the surgery. Dr. Siegel told me that she is not the only with those outstanding pain results. I know another patient that also had the same results. Unfortunatly we don't all get so lucky.

                          From my understanding there has not been clinical trials, only studies, on Interstim for pain but I heard from an Interstim rep. that there were going to be I guess because the study results showed promise. Please post if someone out there knows differently and I am not correct on this.

                          For those that have had ANY kind of success with Interstim, pain or urinary dysfunction, I am very happy for you!!!!!!!



                          • #14
                            Lisa~I heard on the news over the week-end that medtronics has a device they are testing for pain, it's implanted like the interstim is....I'm hoping that they will beable to 'add a wire' to those of us with the interstim if this proves to be helpful. The device is planted in the cheek of your butt and you are wired at the end of your spine, just like the interstim. Is this the same one that you are talking about?????
                            Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".


                            • #15
                              Kara~since my surgery I am now able to go to hockey games, movies, car trips and to a shopping mall without an immediate potty We bought a cottage on a small lake in the fall and it's an hour and half ride. Without the surgery it wouldn't have been possible to do any of these things, especially the cottage.

                              I have had many many different types of surgeries and this one was a piece of cake. Just make sure they give you something before surgery to keep you from getting sick to your tummy~that was the only complaint that I had. And, I only needed 1 pain shot, and 2 pain pills for discomfort during my hospital stay.

                              hugs teri
                              Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".