Long-term results of sacral neuromodulation for women with urinary retention

BJU Int. 2004 Aug;94(3):335-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2004.04979.x.


OBJECTIVE ; To review the long-term results of sacral nerve stimulation in the treatment of women with Fowler's syndrome, over a 6-year period at one tertiary referral centre.

Patients and methods: Between 1996 and 2002, 26 women with urinary retention were treated by implanting a sacral nerve stimulator. Their case records were reviewed for follow-up, complications and revision procedures, and the most recent uroflowmetry results.

Results: There were 20 patients (77%) still voiding spontaneously at the time of review (with two having deactivated their stimulator because of pregnancy). Fourteen patients (54%) required revision surgery, and the most common complications included loss of efficacy, implant-related discomfort and leg pain. The mean postvoid residual volume was 75 mL and mean maximum flow rate 20.8 mL/s.

Conclusion: In young women with retention, for whom there is still no alternative to lifelong self-catheterization, sacral neuromodulation is effective for up to 5 years after implantation. However, there was a significant complication rate, in line with other reports, which may be improved by new technical developments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Plexus*
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Retention / physiopathology
  • Urinary Retention / therapy*
  • Urination / physiology