Sacral neuromodulation for the dysfunctional elimination syndrome: a single center experience with 20 children

J Urol. 2008 Jul;180(1):306-11; discussion 311. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.03.033. Epub 2008 May 21.


Purpose: Recent advances in neuromodulation have demonstrated promise in treating children with the dysfunctional elimination syndrome refractory to medical management. Sacral nerve stimulation with the InterStim implantable device has been used in adults for management of chronic urinary complaints. However, there are few data regarding the usefulness of sacral nerve stimulation in children. We report our experience with sacral nerve stimulation for severe dysfunctional elimination syndrome.

Materials and methods: A total of 20 patients 8 to 17 years old with the dysfunctional elimination syndrome refractory to maximum medical treatment underwent sacral nerve stimulation at our institution. Patients were followed prospectively for a median of 27 months after the procedure.

Results: Urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency, nocturnal enuresis and constipation were improved or resolved in 88% (14 of 16), 69% (9 of 13), 89% (8 of 9), 69% (11 of 16) and 71% (12 of 17) of the patients, respectively. Urinary retention requiring intermittent catheterization persisted in 75% of the patients (3 of 4) despite sacral nerve stimulation. Complications requiring operative treatment occurred in 20% of the patients (4 of 20). Following marked symptomatic improvement 2 devices were explanted at 20 and 19 months following placement, and both patients have remained symptom-free.

Conclusions: Sacral nerve stimulation is effective in the majority of our patients, and should be considered in children with severe dysfunctional elimination syndrome refractory to maximum medical treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Plexus
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Urination Disorders / therapy*