"Now I can do whatever I want to do. InterStim has given me my life back."
You’ve probably seen the commercial. Women, preparing to embark on
a shopping trip to the mall, roll out a map and, with military precision,
identify and circle in red women’s restrooms.
Kathy Ebersole can painfully relate to that
commercial. The vivacious, gracious
Kelso resident battled bladder issues for
years. Kathy had urge incontinence. “When
the urge hit, I needed to be in the bathroom
She spent years trying to control the
problem with medications and special
undergarments. “I knew I had a problem,
but what I had to admit is that it was literally
taking over my life, ruling my life,” Kathy
says. “I didn’t want to go to the grocery store
or dine out. I had no social life.” Driving to
Orlando with her husband Ralph to visit
Ralph’s daughter was miserable. “I can’t tell
you how many pit stops we made along
During a visit to Urologist John Hall, DO,FACS, of Cape Girardeau Urology Associates,
Kathy learned about InterStim® Therapy.
Dr. Hall suggested Kathy see his partner,
Vincenzo Galati, DO, FACS, who specializes
in this treatment option.
“Dr. Galati explained the procedure and its
potential benefits,” Kathy adds. “I knew it was
something I wanted – and needed – to try.”
Overactive bladder symptoms can be
treated by targeting both the muscle and
the nerve components of the bladder.
Medications treat the muscle component
of the bladder. However, in some patients
medications are not enough to gain control
of the symptoms. This is where InterStim
Therapy can be helpful as it can target the
nerve component of the bladder symptoms.
"InterStim Therapy is like a pacemaker for the bladder. It targets the communication problem between the brain and the bladder so patients don't experience the frequent urge to urinate."
Vincenzo Galati, DO, FACS
Dr. Galati says patients appreciate testing
the effects of nerve stimulation before the
device is even implanted.
Quality of Life
After undergoing a test session – without
the need for any incisions – Kathy noted a
significant improvement in her symptoms
and subsequently had the minimallyinvasive
procedure to implant the InterStim
device, which is powered by a small battery.
The difference for Kathy has been
“amazing,” she says. “I am off meds. I can
do whatever I want to do. InterStim has
given me my life back.” The device, she
says, is “not disturbing at all.”
Kathy worked for the state of Missouri
for 22 years. She is retired and now truly
“loving every minute of it,” she says. She’s
back to her active lifestyle, which includes
traveling with Ralph to see family scattered
across the country. Kathy adds she is more
than willing to share her experience with
others considering InterStim Therapy. “I
told Dr. Galati I would love to be his poster
girl for this because of the difference it has
made in my life.”
InterStim Therapy –
What to expect, step by step
TESTING THE EFFECTIVENESS
- Minimally-invasive procedure that requires no incision
- Only local anesthesia is needed
- Two electrodes are placed in the lower back
- Small current stimulates the nerves of the bladder
- Patient gives immediate feedback to ensure optimal
placement of the electrodes
TRACKING THE RESULTS
- Patient goes home with an
external device that provides
- Patient keeps a diary of results
- Patient sees doctor
about two weeks later
- If patient experiences a
greater than 50 percent
improvement in symptoms,
the permanent electrodes
and device can be surgically
- No external device is needed
Most adults can hold more than two cups of urine
in their bladder. Stress incontinence happens
when physical movement or activity like coughing,
sneezing, running or heavy lifting puts pressure –
or stress – on your bladder. Stress incontinence is
much more common in women than men.
Stress incontinence differs from urge incontinence.
Urge incontinence is the loss of urine caused by the
bladder muscle contracting without you wanting it
to. Usually it is associated with a sense of urgency.