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Urology. 2012 Jan;79(1):80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.06.013. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Can sacral neuromodulation improve minor incontinence symptoms in doubly incontinent patients successfully treated for major incontinence symptoms?

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Urology Department, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen, France.



To describe the effect of sacral nerve modulation (SNM) on less severe types of incontinence in patients who were successfully implanted for either urinary or fecal incontinence, and who presented with double incontinence. When conservative treatments fail, SNM is a first-line treatment for patients with urge urinary or fecal incontinence.


All patients who received SNM between 2005 and 2010 at 5 hospitals and who still had the implant were included in our survey. All received a urinary and fecal change and quality of life questionnaire by mail to complete.


Of the 51 questionnaires sent out, 37 were returned, for a 72.5% response rate. The population was composed of 97.3% women, with a mean age of 56.8 years (SD 14). The main indication for SNM was urge urinary incontinence in 15 patients (40.5%) and fecal incontinence in 22 patients (59.5%). Eighteen patients (48.7%) had improvements in both urinary and fecal incontinence symptoms. The percentage increased to 53.3% (16/30) in the group of patients with urge urinary incontinence associated with fecal incontinence. Patients who reported an improvement in double incontinence symptoms complained more often of urge urinary incontinence than other patients (P=.04).


Of the doubly incontinent patients who were successfully implanted for a predominant type of incontinence (ie, urinary or fecal incontinence), 48.7% had an improvement in the other type of incontinence. Patients with urge urinary incontinence associated with fecal incontinence were more likely to report an improvement in double incontinence than the other patients.

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