United Arab Emirates, Dubai, June 20, 2018: Rashid Hospital becomes the first in Dubai to implement sacral nerve stimulation known as InterStim technique for the treatment of fecal incontinence and chronic constipation.
Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements. Many factors can cause this condition such as nerve or muscle damage. Some causes of nerve or muscle damage can be due to childbirth, constant straining during bowel movements, spinal cord injury or stroke.
Rashid Hospital recently successfully conducted this procedure for two patients; one of them was suffering from fecal incontinence and the other from chronic constipation.
Dr Labib Al Ozaibi, Consultant Coloproctologist at Rashid Hospital said, “This advanced technique is based on electric stimulation of the sacral nerves by implanting a small device under the skin known as the InterStim neurostimulator. It is inserted under the patient’s skin. It sends mild electrical pulses to the nerves in the back that control bowel, rectum and bladder movement. The neurostimulator works by stimulating the patient’s sacral nerves, helping the patient regain control of his bowel functions. Bladder problems as well as constipation are treated at the same time.”
Dr Al Ozaibi said this is a two-stage technique. “In the first stage, we evaluate whether the patient will benefit from this device and only in patient’s whose symptoms improvement up to 50 per cent, we go ahead with the procedure. The second phase is the permanent one, where we implant the device, which is like a heart pacemaker device and has a battery life of up to 10 years.”
He added that once the battery wears out, the procedure to insert a new battery is simple and can be done under local anesthesia.
He said this procedure is the last option to treat this condition but greatly improves the patient’s quality of life. “Patient’s often do not come forward when they have issues of incontinence and this is either due to lack of awareness about treatment options or cultural factors. However, this condition often leads to patients restricting themselves from carrying out their day-to-day activities, socializing and can often lead to depression. There is a need to raise awareness about the various treatment options available to tackle incontinence and this new method is greatly beneficial for patients who suffer not only from incontinence or chronic constipation but also for patient’s suffering from urine retention, chronic pelvic pain and neurogenic bladder.”