Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy Delivered by the InterStim™ system

Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy Delivered by the InterStim™ system

Evidence suggests that breakdowns in the bowel-brain communication pathway may be a root cause of chronic fecal incontinence (FI).1 That’s why conventional treatments may not produce the results you want — they don’t directly target this miscommunication.

Unlike conventional treatments, the Medtronic InterStim™ systems gently stimulate the sacral nerves in your pelvic area that control your bowel. This may help restore* bowel-brain communication and reduce your symptoms



 The relief you’ve been waiting for

When more conservative treatments fail, Medtronic bowel control therapy delivered by the InterStim™ systems can help. This therapy is simple and discreet, and it delivers the kind of relief that lets you enjoy the activities you love without a second thought.

  • Targets the nerves that control your bowel to help it function normally again
  • Clinically proven to stop or greatly reduce bowel accidents2
  • Significantly improved quality of life (lifestyle, ability to cope, embarrassment, and depression)2
  • Lets you evaluate if it works before you and your doctor decide
  • Allows you to get full-body MRI scans if you need them‡
  • Hundreds of thousands of people have experienced relief* with this safe, FDA-approved and minimally invasive therapy†


The choice is yours

 Medtronic bowel control therapy delivered by the InterStim™ systems offers recharge-free and rechargeable options, so you can choose the right one for your lifestyle.

  • The recharge-free InterStim X™ system may be best for most people; it's convenient and low maintenance.
  • The rechargeable InterStim™ Micro system is smaller, lasts longer, and requires regular recharging sessions.




Quarter shown for size comparison


Proven Results

Medtronic bowel control therapy delivered by the InterStim™ systems provides life changing relief.

  • 89% of people using it experienced long-term success
  • Delivers significant and lasting improvement for people with FI

The most common adverse events were implant site pain, paresthesia, change in sensation of stimulation, implant site infection, urinary incontinence, neurostimulator battery depletion, diarrhea, pain in extremity, undesirable change in stimulation, buttock pain, and migration of implant.


Is InterStim™ Right for You?

You may be a good candidate for Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim™ systems if:

  • You have significant chronic fecal incontinence symptoms
  • You’ve tried lifestyle changes and oral medications
  • These therapies haven’t given you the relief you want


See if it works for you

Unlike other bowel control treatments, this therapy lets you try it first with an evaluation — like a test run, not a long-term commitment.

  • Starts with a short, in-office procedure
  • Go about most of your regular activities for 3-14 days
  • Track your symptoms to see if they improve
  • Talk with your doctor about your results and find out if it’s likely to help you


Complications can occur with the evaluation, including movement of the wire, technical problems with the device, and some temporary pain. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to use the system and inform you of any activity restrictions and other precautions related to the test.

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*Defined as a 50% or greater reduction in your troublesome bowel symptoms.

† Data from InterStim™ Sales Analysis. Medtronic, Inc. December 2019.

‡ Under certain conditions. See approved labeling for details. Patients with InterStim™ SureScan MRI leads only.

¶ Success defined as ≥ 50% reduction of episodes per week. This patient group had data at both baseline and the five-year visit. Another analysis reported 69% of people achieved success with Medtronic bowel control therapy. For this patient group, missing data at five years because of a device-related reason was counted as failure or if it was missing for non-device related reasons, the most recent data was carried forward.


  1. Patton V, Wiklendt L, et al. The effect of sacral nerve stimulation on distal colonic motility in patients with fecal incontinence. Br J Surg. 2013 Jun;100(7):959–68.
  2. Hull T, Giese C, Wexner SD, et al. Long-term Durability of Sacral Nerve Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2013; 56(2):234–45.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.


Frequently asked questions

Why is this therapy different? 

You can try it before you decide, and it’s reversible if you change your mind later. 

What can this therapy do for me? 

It can significantly improve quality of life by reducing your symptoms. It’s proven to work in people who have chronic FI.1

Will it cure my condition? 

No. It can help some people achieve complete continence, but it’s not a cure. If the neurostimulator is turned off or removed, symptoms can return.

What does the stimulation feel like? 

Most people describe it as a tingling, flutter, or vibration in the pelvic area. It should not be painful. Stimulation settings can be adjusted, and sensations will vary from person to person. 

Does the therapy work long term? 

Clinical data shows that after five years, people using the InterStim™ system continue to experience significant improvements in quality of life.2 No other SNM system has this long-term data. Your experience may be different. More people rely on Medtronic than any other SNM system to provide this relief. 

Can I have an MRI? 

People with an InterStim™ system can have a full-body MRI scan under certain conditions. Your doctor will determine whether you meet those conditions. 

Will insurance cover the costs? 

Medicare and many private insurance companies cover this therapy. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your insurance coverage.

  1. National Association for Continence. Bowel Health. nafc.org/bowel-incontinence. Accessed June 26, 2017.
  2. Hull T, Giese C, Wexner SD, et al. Long-term Durability of Sacral Nerve Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2013; 56(2):234–45.

Patient Stories

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