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.