Sacral nerve stimulator

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 21 Feb 2024

Sacral nerve stimulators (SNS) are a form of neuromodulation therapy. They are used for urogenital disorders such as urge urinary incontinence and detrusor hyperactivity, and colorectal disorders such as chronic constipation refractory to conventional medical therapy, and fecal incontinence. There is a growing interest in their use in patients with complex unresolved pelvic pain.

The electrode lead is placed in the epidural space of the sacral canal, and the power source is implanted in the subcutaneous tissues of the abdominal wall or buttocks.

Radiographic features

The power source, wire and terminal electrode are readily visible on x-rays and CT studies covering the lower abdomen and pelvis. The lead should be evaluated carefully for fracture. The tissues around the power source should be evaluated for signs of infection and abscess. Lead migration is a known complication so lead position should be compared on serial imaging studies.

See also

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Cases and figures

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