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The functional outcome of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence can be improved by using lead model 3889 and a standardized implantation technique

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Aim: Sacral nerve stimulation has been recognized as an effective treatment option for faecal incontinence when conservative therapy has failed. Refinement of the procedural technique and the use of a curved stylet may improve the functional outcome. Our aim was to explore the relationship between lead model, functional outcome, stimulation amplitude and the need for extra visits during the first year of follow-up. Method: Patient data from May 2009 to February 2017, which were prospectively collected in a local database, were extracted and analysed for differences between lead model and improvement in incontinence scores, stimulation amplitude and the need for additional visits during the first year of follow-up. Results: A foramen lead model 3093(straight stylet) was used in 134 patients and lead model 3889(curved stylet) was used in 40 patients. There were no differences in baseline characteristics or incontinence scores. Comparing results between the two lead models we found that the improvement (delta value) in the Wexner score at 6 months’ follow-up (P = 0.05) and the St Mark's score at 12 months’ follow-up (P = 0.02) was greater in patients implanted with lead model 3889(curved stylet) compared with patients implanted with lead model 3093(straight stylet). Patients implanted with lead model 3889 (curved stylet) were less likely to have to alter the stimulation amplitude or pole configuration during the first year of follow-up (P = 0.04). No difference was found for stimulation amplitude (P = 0.170) or the need for additional visits (P = 0.663). Conclusion: Lead model 3889 (curved stylet) improves functional results compared with lead model 3093 (straight stylet) during the first year of follow-up. Lead model 3889 (curved stylet) reduces the need for reprogramming but has no influence on stimulation amplitude or the number of additional visits required.

Original languageEnglish
JournalColorectal Disease
Pages (from-to)O152-O157
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • Faecal incontinence, functional, QoL

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