Sacral nerve modulation is a technique that I have been using for a few years
for treating patients with faecal incontinence. Our initial results have been
very good and it is very positive to hear that sacral nerve modulation can
remain effective for many years with some patients in the study from St Mark's
hospital in London, published in September's edition of Colorectal Disease,
reporting ongoing benefit after 10 years. In their study a few patients found
that symptoms deteriorated over time or in some that the effect was lost
altogether. This has been our experience too and we don't fully understand why
the procedure doesn't work or loses its effectiveness for some.
We are about to introduce a new technique of Percutaneous
Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) that has shown some promise. The equipment
required is cheaper than for sacral nerve modulation and it will be interesting
to see if the long term results match those of sacral nerve modulation.