No announcement yet.


  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts


    My mother is scheduled to receive the interstim thereapy in a few weeks, and she is now also considering asking her urologist to prescribe the TENS therapy also for her IC pain. I think I read somewhere that it is not FDA approved and i was wondering if anyone else who is using it had any problem getting their doctor to prescribe it for that reason. Also, she had a mild heartattack 2 yrs. ago and had angioplasty but has been fine since. She is seeing her cardiologist for checkup before getting her interstim to be sure everything is still ok. Has anyone had either/both therapies who also has heart problems?

  • #2

    Your Mom definitely needs to see her cardiologist prior to even scheduling this appointment for the Interstim and you need to sit down and start researching Interstim. Your mothers age needs to be taken into complete consideration prior to doing this also, her overall health needs to be evaluated. The trial alone can be very stressful and is also quite painful. You also need to speak to a representative from Medtronics about any research that has been done regarding those that have heart conditions.

    When you have an interstim, "diathermy (e.g., shortwave diathermy, microwave diathermy or therapeutic ultrasound diathermy) is contraindicated because diathermy's energy can be transferred through the implanted system (or any of the separate implanted components), which can cause tissue damage and can result in severe injury or death. Diathermy can damage parts of the neurostimulation system." This would include heart sonogram. You can read the precautions for interstim at:
    Another big thing that is happening is that patients are believing that interstim helps with pain. It does not!!!! It is used for urgency and frequency only.

    Perhaps maybe if you had an explanation of the
    two, Interstim and T.E.N.S, it may give you better insight.

    T.E.N.S. a devise that is about the size of a cigarette pack. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is a method of applying low-voltage electrical currents through the skin at various places using surface electrodes. T.E.N.S. is a modern, non invasive, drug free, pain management modality, commonly used for short term acute pain or long term chronic pain.

    For IC, it has been suggested that the electric pulses may increase blood flow to the bladder, strengthen pelvic muscles that help control the bladder, and trigger the release of hormones that block pain. It is covered by most health insurance companies and is FDA approved. If you go to the FDA website and search for T.E.N.S. ( you will find information on the approval of this unit. (Insurance companies normally will cover only the rental of the unit.)

    Interstim is a sacral nerve stimulation system, which requires major surgery for implantation. This devise was initially intended for those adults with severe urge incontinence when other treatments were to no avail, i.e., diet modification and drugs.

    In the past Interstim and other similar devises have been brought to the attention of those who suffer with Interstitial Cystitis. Although not approved for the treatment of IC, this surgical procedure has been preformed on IC patients with mixed results.

    "The product consists of a pulse generator about the size of a pacemaker which is implanted in the lower back, originally they were placed in the abdominal wall, and a wire lead which is attached to the nerves near the sacrum, the large bone at the bottom of the spine. The generator sends tiny electric impulses via the implanted wire to the sacral nerves which helps control the bladder contractions".