MONDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Medtronic's InterStim
implanted electrical stimulation device has been approved by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help restore bowel control in
people with chronic fecal incontinence, the company said in a news
InterStim -- comprised of a thin wire lead and an implanted
pacemaker-like device -- uses mild electrical stimulation of the
sacral nerves to affect pelvic muscles and the bowel. It improved
or restored bowel control in 80 percent of people who failed more
conservative therapies or weren't candidates for those therapies,
The device had already been approved by the FDA to treat
symptoms of overactive bladder and non-obstructive urinary
retention, the company said.
The most common side effects reported during clinical testing
included implant site pain, a sensation of skin tingling or
numbness, and implant site infection.
More than 18 million Americans have fecal incontinence,
according to U.S. Government statistics cited by Medtronic, based
To learn more about fecal incontinence, visit the U.S.
National Digestive Diseases Information