Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is conducted through an implanted device that includes a thin insulated wire called a lead and a neurostimulator much like a cardiac pacemaker. The device is inserted in a pocket in the patient's lower abdomen. SNS is...
first tried on an outpatient basis in the doctor's office with the implantation of a test lead. If the trial treatment is successful, the patient is scheduled for inpatient surgery.
Permanent surgical implantation is done under general anesthesia and requires a one-night stay in the hospital. After the patient has been anesthetized, the surgeon implants the neurostimulator, which is about the size of a pocket stopwatch, under the skin of the patient's abdomen. Thin wires, or leads, running from the stimulator carry electrical pulses from the stimulator to the sacral nerves located in the lower back. After the stimulator and leads have been implanted, the surgeon closes the incision in the abdomen.
Much of the difficulty in brain surgery recovery comes with healing of the skull and covering of the brain. This video shows that a tumor in a particular location can be removed by entering through the nose, rather than the skull. The endoscopic endonasal approach or EEA is associated with rapid recovery times compared to most other types of brain surgery.
Sacral nerve stimulation, also termed sacral neuromodulation, involves the implantation of a programmable stimulator under the dura matar which delivers low amplitude electrical stimulation to the S3 or S4 root. Currently, the FDA has approved InterStim Therapy, by Medtronic, as a safe sacral nerve stimulator for treatment of Urinary Urge Incontinence, Urinary Frequency, and Urinary Retention. Sacral nerve stimulation is under investigation as treatment for a host of other conditions, though.
Neurosurgery is one of the longest training periods of all the medical specialties because of the extreme complexity of the nervous system and the advanced technique used in this specialty.
-Neuroscience & Spine Associates
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