Aims: To assess the results of chronic pudendal nerve neuromodulation with a novel technique in a pilot study on women with idiopathic refractory detrusor overactivity incontinence.
Materials and methods: A percutaneous screening test (PST) was performed in patients with urodynamically demonstrated detrusor overactivity incontinence. Such a test includes the performance of a cystometrogram without and with percutaneous pudendal nerve stimulation and is considered positive if stimulation results in a more than 50% increase in the bladder volume at the first involuntary detrusor contraction or the maximum cystometric capacity. Patients with a positive PST qualified for the implantation of a mini-neurostimulator with an integrated electrode, a so-called bion(R), adjacent to the pudendal nerve at Alcock's Canal. Five-day voiding-incontinence diaries were the main tool for the evaluation of therapy.
Results: A PST was performed in 14 women. Six patients responded positively and received a bion. The degree of incontinence decreased significantly in this group, which also included patients in whom sacral neuromodulation had failed. There were no severe adverse events.
Conclusions: Chronic pudendal nerve stimulation may reduce the degree of detrusor overactivity incontinence, even in patients in whom sacral neuromodulation fails. Bion therapy is relatively simple and minimally invasive and is well tolerated by the patient.