Solesta and InterStim are two new therapies that help with bowel incontinence. Solesta® is a sterile gel made up of natural materials similar to the natural starches, sugars, and tissue in your body. It is injected into the wall of the anal canal to improve bowel control. The Solesta® gel is injected into a layer of tissue beneath the anus lining and helps build tissue in that area. As the surrounding tissue grows, the anus opening narrows helping the patient to better control those muscles.
InterStim® therapy uses an implanted device (much like a pacemaker) that uses mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves to influence the behavior of the pelvic floor muscles and bowel. It helps improve communication between the brain and the nerves that control bowel function.
- Solesta®: As with any shot, sedation is not necessary. You will be asked to lie on your side and a small scope will be inserted into your rectum. The Solesta® gel is administered with 4 injections into the wall of the anal canal. The injections are made in an area of the rectum where there are no pain receptors, so you should not experience any pain during the procedure. You may feel some rectal pressure from the anoscope, a small device that inserted into the rectum. The procedure should only take 10-15 minutes.
- InterStim®: In the test phase of this procedure, an AGA doctor implants a thin wire near your tailbone, with a wire taped to your skin that connects to the small external device you’ll wear on your waistband. This portion of the procedure is done with local anesthesia. The external device sends mild electrical pulses through the wire to stimulate nerves near your tailbone, helping your bowel work the way it should. You’ll wear the external neurostimulator for several days, and document your symptoms. You'll then return to the office of one of our partner practices (a urologist or urogynecologist) to review your documentation with the doctor to determine whether the implant improved your condition, and potentially have it permanently implanted.
- Solesta®: Common side effects include minor discomfort or bleeding in the injection area. Infection and inflammation of anal tissue are possible, but rare.
- InterStim®: Patients may experience some initial discomfort in the implant area. There may also be a sensation of pricking or tingling, or numbness of the skin. Infection around the implant is also a possibility.