New tecnhique helps patients deal with stigmatizing medical condition
David Moore November 26, 2012 | WGVU It's not exactly the subject of polite dinner conversation, or of many conversations at all-despite the fact that fecal incontinence hits some 18 million Americans.
It's a condition so stigmatizing that those who suffer with it are often too embarrassed to even discuss it with their own doctor.
Spectrum Health surgeon Dr. Donald Kim, MD, was first in the state to use Implantable Sacral Nerve Stimulation. (ISNS)
The procedure, which uses a device called InterStim, is minimally invasive, implanting a half dollar-sized device under the skin above the buttocks. It delivers a mild electrical charge-much like a heart pacemaker-to a nerve that controls a key muscle, helping fight the problem.
Fecal Incontinence is most common in women, resulting from nerve damage from childbirth or pelvic health disorders. It is not, however, a normal part of aging, says Dr. Kim. ISNS is suggested for patients who've unsuccessfully tried other more conservative approaches like medication or dietary changes.
The Federal Food and Drug Administration first gave the go-ahead for the therapy last year, and it's also indicated for urinary incontinence. Over 100,000 people worldwide have received the treatment since its initial approval in 2011.
Spectrum Health will host a public access web chat about fecal incontinence at noon on Wednesday, November 28, from noon to 1 p.m.
Participants may ask questions privately and anonymously during the chat session.
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