Dynamic Article: Permanent Sacral Nerve Stimulation Under Local Anesthesia

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The increasing incidence of fecal incontinence and the use of sacral neuromodulation have an increasing impact on health care providers and health care costs.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the technical and clinical success rates, complications, and patient satisfaction of the implantation of permanent sacral nerve stimulation under local anesthesia.


A cohort analysis of consecutive patients with sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence over a period of 1 year was performed.


This study was conducted at a specialized pelvic floor unit in a tertiary care center.


Sixty-one patients were available for the assessment after 1-year follow-up.


Technical success, procedural time, and complications were noted. Clinical outcome (including Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale, and Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index were collected prospectively before and after treatment.


All procedures were successfully completed under local anesthesia, with a median total procedural time of 50 minutes (range, 26–72 minutes). All patients were discharged on the day of their procedure. Postoperative complications occurred in 3 patients (4.9%). At 3 months follow-up, the median Fecal Incontinence Severity Index score was reduced from 37 to 27 (p = 0.001). Both the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale and the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index had improved from 63 to 82 (p < 0.001) and 72 to 90 (p = 0.012). At a mean follow-up of 13 months, both the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale and the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index improved further to 90 (p < 0.001) and 94 (p < 0.001). All patients would recommend the procedure under local anesthesia to other patients. No patients experienced leg pain during follow-up.


This study involved a relatively small group of patients, and patient satisfaction was only recorded for the last 22 patients. No exact cost calculations were made.


Permanent sacral nerve stimulation implantation under local anesthesia has high technical and clinical success rates. It is safe, well tolerated by patients, and has obvious logistical and financial benefits.

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