DOWNEY – Physicians at Physicians’ Surgery Center of Downey were the first in the western United States to use mild electrical stimulation similar to that found in a pacemaker-like system to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic bowel incontinence (inability to control the bowel) in a patient who had not had success with “more conservative” treatments. During a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, physicians implanted the interstim neurostimulator, about the size of a stopwatch, under the skin in the upper buttock.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Bill Kim placed the initial trial wires and on June 19 urologist Dr. Ernest Agatstein placed the permanent device. The patient was having up to three episodes of fecal incontinence weekly but has not had a single episode of fecal incontinence since the placement of the device, doctors said.
Dr. Agatstein has also placed the device in his patients with urinary incontinence with similar results.
“Bowel incontinence can have a disabling effect on a person’s quality of life, and embarrassment often delays discussing the problem with a physician,’ said Dr. Kim.
“Sacral neuromodulation...is a proven therapy that offers hope for relief and the possibility of living a more normal life in our patients affected by both fecal and urinary incontinence.”
For more details about the procedure, call the center at (562) 869-0500.
Published: July 31, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 16