Department of Urology

February 13, 2020

UWMC Leads State in Advanced Wireless Technology for Patients with Incontinence

UW Medical Center Northwest’s own Director of Female Urology, Dr. Suzette Sutherland, is the first provider in the state to bring new Axonics neuromodulation technology to patients.The small, flash drive-sized device has shown highly positive outcomes in clinical studies of patients with urinary incontinence with at least 90% (116/129) patients implanted with the Axonics Sacral Neuromodulation (SNM) System achieving at least a 50% reduction in the number of urgency leaks at 6 months compared to the number of leaks prior to system implantation.

Procedural, the therapy called Sacral Nerve Stimulation, which involves implantation of an electrical generator, buried under the skin in her upper buttock region. This small device then sends a signal down a thin wire that in turn stimulates the pelvic nerves leading to the bladder, bowel and pelvic floor muscles.

The new and improved “pacemaker” for pelvic nerves drives innovation and relief for patients.

When talking to patients, Dr. Sutherland describes the device as a “pacemaker” for the pelvic nerves, that has the ultimate effect of “quieting down” the bladder and bowel and re-regulating them back to normal function.

Lupe Thompson, 58, was the first person in the state to receive this cutting-edge procedure after suffering from both fecal and urinary incontinence for years and is happy to report she is back to her daily life two months post-operation.