Results after sacral nerve stimulation for chronic constipation.
Sacral nerve stimulation is an established treatment for fecal incontinence and initial reports describe successful results also in subjects with chronic constipation.
Consecutive patients with slow transit or outlet obstruction type constipation were offered external stimulation through a test electrode inserted in a sacral foramen during a 3-week period. The symptomatic evaluation was based on the number of bowel movements and a validated obstructed defecation score (ODS). A permanent implant was performed provided an overall 50% decrease in symptoms was observed.
In total, 44 patients with chronic constipation were treated with a 3-week test stimulation. Fifteen experienced a 50% reduction of symptoms and received a permanent implant. Four of the 15 with permanent implants were explanted during the course of the study. Five subjects (11% of original group) reported sustained symptom relief at final follow-up after a mean of 24 months (range 4-81). Mean ODS score did not change during the treatment. Patients with predominantly slow transit constipation or outlet obstruction did not differ concerning success rate.
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES:
Sacral nerve stimulation has limited efficacy in unselected patients with chronic constipation and cannot be recommended for treatment on routine basis.
Reference: Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015 May;27(5):734-9. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12546. Epub 2015 Mar 25.