In the UK, urinary incontinence affects an estimated 14.9% of adults over 40 years of age with faecal incontinence affecting an estimated 1.4% of adults over 40 years of age.
talkhealth recently hosted an Ask the Expert session on Sacral Neuromodulation supported by Medtronic, a global leading in medical technology, services and solutions. Sacral Neuromodulation is a treatment for urinary and faecal incontinence which involves implanting a small medical device designed to send mild electrical pulses to a nerve located just above the tailbone. In cases where this treatment is suitable it can eliminate or greatly reduce the symptoms for many people suffering from incontinence.
Our Ask the Expert session, ran from 11-15 June during the build up to World Continence Week, giving patients the opportunity to post their questions to Mr Mohammed Belal, Consultant Urological Surgeon from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Questions & Answers from the session
There was a great reaction from the talkhealth community, with plenty of questions being posted for Mr Belal to answer. Below you can see some of the conversations that took place:
- Jody: My GP told me about this treatment but said there was nowhere in my area that carries out the procedure. Can I ask to be referred to a different specialist in a hospital outside the area where I live?
- Mr Belal: If the treatment is not provided by your local hospital then a referral can be made directly by your GP to a centre that provides such treatment even outside the area you live.
- Tina: I found out about Sacral Neuromodulation on this website and went to my GP to discuss. He hadn’t heard of it. On that basis he said I’d need to persist with other treatments first and only if nothing else worked could he see about a referral for this treatment. I’ve tried pretty much everything. Can I insist on a referral?
- Mr Belal: If you have tried conservative measures and failed medication such as anticholinergics and beta 3 agonists, then you can ask for a referral to secondary care. The options include intradetrusor botox or sacral neuromodulation. Ideally you want to be referred to a centre that can offer both.
If you are living with urinary or faecal incontinence, you may like to use our Nurse Helpline, available to all members. Just click here and complete a short form and one of our nurses will contact you to provide you with guidance.