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J Urol. 2009 Oct;182(4):1449-52. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2009.06.049. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

Sacral nerve stimulation for refractory overactive bladder in the elderly population.

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  • 1Division of Urologic Surgery, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, Tennessee 37920, USA.



We determined the long-term outcome of sacral nerve stimulation for refractory overactive bladder in the elderly population.


We performed a prospective longitudinal study to better characterize the outcome of sacral nerve stimulation in female patients 70 years old or older with refractory overactive bladder. Demographic and perioperative data were recorded. Patients were followed postoperatively for evidence of successful stage conversion, device durability and efficacy, and postoperative complications. Patients were retrospectively compared to a cohort of female patients younger than 70 years with refractory overactive bladder. Statistical analysis was performed.


Between July 2001 and February 2008, 19 elderly female patients with refractory overactive bladder underwent stage 1 lead placement. Of the patients 17 (90%) who reported greater than 50% improvement in symptoms based on a 1-week followup voiding log underwent implantable pulse generator placement. No intraoperative or immediate postoperative complications were noted. At a mean followup of 48.5 months 11 patients (65%) had a functional implantable pulse generator with greater than 50% objective improvement over baseline. Compared to matched patients younger than 70 years elderly patients had a similar conversion rate and adverse events but were significantly more likely to undergo device removal (p = 0.018).


Based on our experience elderly patients have a high conversion rate, few adverse events, and a high level of device efficacy and durability with sacral nerve stimulation. Although more mature multicenter data are needed, it appears that sacral nerve stimulation in geriatric patients is safe and efficacious, and should be judiciously offered to those with refractory voiding symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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