Millions suffer from urological problems. They try traditional treatments like sacral nerve stimulation to treat their pelvic or urinary pain, fecal or urinary incontinence—but still the problem persists. However, now a Michigan doctor says he's pioneered a treatment that could be the solution these patients are searching for.
“For months, my daughter and I went from doctor to doctor to doctor,” Donna Pelto said.
"Right away we knew something was wrong, we just didn’t know what,” Becky Petrie, Donna’s daughter said. However, Donna knew how to describe her debilitating pain.
“You get your charcoal briquettes to the point where they're red and they're hot, and then stick them up in between your legs. That's what it feels like,” Donna explained.
Urologist Kenneth Peters pioneered an outpatient procedure that would relieve her pain. “We’ve developed a way to place the electrode at the pudendal, which is a nerve that comes further deeper into the pelvis,” according to Kenneth M. Peters, MD, Chairman of Urology, Director of Beaumont Women’s Urology Center, Beaumont Health System.
An electrical pulse generator is connected to the electrode and implanted in the patient’s buttock. "It is a pacemaker for the nerves that control a lot of functions of the pelvis such as the bladder, the bowel, and the pelvic floor,” Dr. Peters said.
The device sends a signal to the brain to ignore abnormal signals that cause bowel and urinary issues, or pelvic pain like Donna’s. The level of relief is remotely controlled by the patient.
Since receiving the treatment, Donna says she feels a major difference.
“Every patient I see for the first time, I tell them they're going to be better because I believe it 100 percent,” Dr. Peters said.
This procedure is not to be seen as a cure, but it is successful nearly 85 percent of the time in providing at least a 50 percent relief in symptoms.