Sacral neuromodulation with the InterStim™ system for faecal incontinence: results from a prospective French multicentre observational study

Colorectal Dis. 2021 Jun;23(6):1463-1473. doi: 10.1111/codi.15507. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Aim: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness, patient satisfaction and quality of life (QoL) and the safety of sacral neuromodulation (SNM) with the InterStimTM system for the treatment of faecal incontinence (FI) and establish whether results published predominantly by expert sites are generalisable.

Method: This is a prospective, multicentre, observational study that invited all French sites treating FI with the InterStim™ system to enrol subjects indicated for an SNM therapy evaluation. Data were collected at three follow-up visits within 1 and 15 months. Therapeutic effectiveness was evaluated by the reduction in leakages per week and improvements over time in the ability to defer defaecation and QoL (as measured with the Faecal Incontinence Quality of Life score). Safety was assessed through reported adverse events.

Results: A total of 221 subjects with a mean age of 62.1 years were tested (184 women) and 178 received a permanent implant. For all implanted subjects with diary data at baseline and follow-up, a reduction in leakage of more than 50% was observed in 80%, 76% and 83% at 1-3, 4-8 and 9-15 months, respectively. The mean number of leakage episodes and urgency improved significantly compared with the baseline (p < 0.0001). Subjects showed improvements in QoL and time to defer defaecation and were generally satisfied with their therapy. The main device-related adverse event was the requirement to undertake reprogramming (in 52% of subjects with actions following an event). The rates of infection (in 6% of subjects) and surgical revision (in 10% of subjects) were in agreement with literature reports.

Conclusion: This study confirms the clinical effectiveness, safety and positive effect of SNM on QoL as well as high patient satisfaction for the treatment of FI in real-life.

Trial registration: NCT01957969.

Keywords: faecal incontinence; real-world data; sacral neuromodulation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Fecal Incontinence* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Plexus
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Sacrum
  • Treatment Outcome

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