View graph of relations
PURPOSE: Sacral neuromodulation is a well researched and successful treatment for functional bowel disorders. Indications have expanded throughout the years and various studies have been published on clinical efficacy or on technique improvement. The main goal of this retrospective study was to systematically evaluate daily experiences with this treatment and measure the long-term satisfaction of sacral neuromodulation therapy for functional bowel disorders. METHODS: After institutional review board approval a new, self-designed postal questionnaire was sent to all patients in our center who were being treated with sacral neuromodulation. Only patients with a minimal follow-up of 1 year were included in the survey. Implantation years range from 2000 to 2007. RESULTS: A total of 174 patients received the questionnaire regarding patient satisfaction and experience with sacral neuromodulation therapy. The response rate after reminder letter was 71.8% (n = 125) including 114 (91.2%) females. Patient satisfaction was high: 81 patients (65.3%) reported their results as very satisfying, 30 patients (24.2%) were moderately satisfied, and 13 patients (10.4%) were not satisfied. Analysis showed that patient satisfaction can be explained by both patient perception of present bowel function and their evaluation of the quality of daily life. No significant relationship was found with patient demographics, self-ascribed (co)morbidity, behavioral habits, or therapy duration. A total of 47 patients (38.2%) reported having some concerns regarding the future with sacral neuromodulation treatment. Twenty-eight patients (23.1%) reported a temporary loss of effect at any time during sacral neuromodulation therapy. Pain at the implantation site was reported by 65 patients (52.4%). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that patients treated with sacral neuromodulation, in general, are very satisfied. The main problems mentioned by patients are pain, loss of efficacy, and general concerns.