Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Side Effects and Recovery

InterStim is relatively safe and it is one of the most effective treatments for urinary and fecal incontinence. However, there are certain problematic side effects to keep in mind as you recover such as infection, bleeding and device functionality issues. Also, the longevity of the device is something be aware of — devices like InterStim last about nine years on average.

Average rating on Healthgrades

4.8 Average rating on

Side Effects of InterStim Therapy

As you recover from the procedure to install your InterStim device, some of the side effects that you need to be aware of include:

  • Infection – Because this is the most common risk, you may be given antibiotics. Follow all the protocols given by your surgeon to ensure that you minimize this risk. Infections can range from mild to severe, with severe infections capable of compromising the effectiveness of the InterStim device.
  • Swelling – As you recover, some swelling around the surgical site is normal — use an ice pack and keep your pelvic area elevated to minimize the swelling.
  • Pain – During the initial period, pain and soreness is normal. You may take generic pain relievers to help with your discomfort, or your doctor may prescribe you pain medication for more moderate pain.

You may still need to take medication to prevent leakage while in recovery or even after the device is successfully implanted.

young doctor talking to older patient about incontinence


Possible Complications of InterStim Therapy

Complications may occur during the initial recovery period, and sometimes several weeks or years afterwards, if they occur at all. Although, complications are very rare, you should practice proper care while in recovery. The most common complications from Interstim therapy are:

  • Post-operative bleeding around the device and incision area.
  • A faulty device can run out of electricity quicker.
  • Temporary severe pain in the pelvic region shortly after the operation.
  • Device malfunction may occur over time due to wear and tear from normal use.
  • The wireless connection between the device and the implant can be damaged.
  • Avoid most large electrical devices like MRI machines unless the device is turned off.

Almost all complications are preventable if you’re under the care of a good team of doctors, surgeons and specialists. If you’ve experienced any side effects or complications during your recovery period, you should contact your doctor or specialist immediately. If you feel like there’s a severe problem then immediately call emergency services or go to a hospital. Issues such as infection or severe prolonged pain shouldn’t be taken lightly and be treated as soon as possible to prevent any more drastic complications. If the implant malfunctions over time, speak with your doctor about your options for a replacement.

At this point, you’ve probably researched InterStim side effects and benefits online and come to a conclusion about your next step. Maybe you’ve entered queries like “where to get InterStim near me” or “urologist near me.” If this is you, Advanced Urology in Atlanta is here for you. Call Advanced Urology today at 678-344-8900  to learn more about treatment options and make an appointment.