Comparison of Sacral Nerve Modulation and Pudendal Nerve Stimulation in Treatment of Fecal Incontinence

2014-07-23 21:10:34 | BioPortfolio


Sacral nerve modulation (SNM) is an established treatment for refractory lower urinary tract and bowel dysfunction (Spinelli 2008). Pudendal nerve stimulation (PNS) has been proposed for patients failing SNM treatment of urinary dysfunction (Spinelli 2005). In this study SNM and PNS are compared for the treatment of fecal incontinence. In a test phase, both treatments will be applied for one week each in a randomized and blinded order (cross-over design). After the test phase the more successful treatment will be determined and applied permanently. If both treatments are equally sufficient, PNS will be chosen for permanent stimulation, since preliminary data indicate that PNS has a lower power consumption than SNM. Lower power consumption results in a longer lifetime of the stimulator, thus requiring less replacement surgeries.


Primary Surgery:

- Implantation of two electrodes, one placed next to the sacral nerve, one close to the pudendal nerve. Electrode wires are passed through the skin just above the gluteal region and are marked S and P. One of the sub-investigators (not involved in the follow-up) replaces the S and P marks by 1 and 2 marks in absence of the operating surgeon. Assignment of 1 and 2 is carried out in a predefined randomized fashion (computerized block randomization).

Test phase:

- Electrode labeled 1 is connected to a stimulator and the nerve is stimulated for one week, then the other electrode is stimulated for a week.

- Based on bowel habit diary, Wexner score (Jorge 1993) and subjective experience of the patient, the more successful treatment is chosen. If both electrodes were equally successful, the pudendal nerve electrode will be chosen for permanent stimulation.

Secondary surgery:

- After unblinding, the less effective electrode is removed and the remaining electrode is connected to an implanted stimulator (permanent phase). In case both treatments were unsuccessful, both electrodes are removed.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Fecal Incontinence


Sacral nerve modulation, Pudendal nerve stimulation


Department of Surgey, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen




Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:10:34-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Pain associated with a damaged PUDENDAL NERVE. Clinical features may include positional pain with sitting in the perineal and genital areas, sexual dysfunction and FECAL INCONTINENCE and URINARY INCONTINENCE.

A nerve which originates in the sacral spinal cord (S2 to S4) and innervates the PERINEUM, the external GENITALIA, the external ANAL SPHINCTER and the external urethral sphincter. It has three major branches: the perineal nerve, inferior anal nerves, and the dorsal nerve of penis or clitoris.

A nerve which originates in the lumbar and sacral spinal cord (L4 to S3) and supplies motor and sensory innervation to the lower extremity. The sciatic nerve, which is the main continuation of the sacral plexus, is the largest nerve in the body. It has two major branches, the TIBIAL NERVE and the PERONEAL NERVE.

The medial terminal branch of the sciatic nerve. The tibial nerve fibers originate in lumbar and sacral spinal segments (L4 to S2). They supply motor and sensory innervation to parts of the calf and foot.

A class of nerve fibers as defined by their structure, specifically the nerve sheath arrangement. The AXONS of the myelinated nerve fibers are completely encased in a MYELIN SHEATH. They are fibers of relatively large and varied diameters. Their NEURAL CONDUCTION rates are faster than those of the unmyelinated nerve fibers (NERVE FIBERS, UNMYELINATED). Myelinated nerve fibers are present in somatic and autonomic nerves.

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