The Use of Bilateral Sacral Nerve Stimulation in Patients With Loss of Unilateral Treatment Efficacy

Tom A. T. Marcelissen, Randall K. Leong, Jan Serroyen, Philip E. V. A. Van Kerrebroeck, Stefan G. G. de Wachter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: We evaluated whether bilateral sacral nerve stimulation can be effective to restore treatment efficacy in patients in whom unilateral sacral neuromodulation fails. Materials and Methods: Patients in whom unilateral sacral neuromodulation failed were included in analysis. The percutaneous nerve evaluation test was used to evaluate the effect of contralateral and bilateral stimulation. The stimulation electrode was placed in the contralateral S3 foramen and symptoms were self-recorded using a 3-day voiding diary. Clinical success was defined as more than 50% improvement in at least 1 relevant voiding diary parameter vs baseline. Results: The 15 study patients underwent test stimulation with percutaneous nerve evaluation. In 3 patients lead migration was suspected and, thus, they were not included in analysis. Four of the remaining 12 patients had a successful response to percutaneous nerve evaluation, of whom 3 were eventually implanted with a contralateral lead. After 12 months of treatment 2 of the 3 patients had a successful outcome. Conclusions: In this pilot study only a select group of patients appeared to benefit from bilateral stimulation after unilateral therapy failure. Further investigation is needed to determine the predictive factors and cost-effectiveness of this treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-980
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • urinary bladder
  • treatment failure
  • electric stimulation therapy
  • overactive
  • urination disorders

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