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What to expect during Stage one of InterStim surgery

Updated on October 13, 2014
This is the battery and the wire is the lead that is attached to your back!
This is the battery and the wire is the lead that is attached to your back! | Source

Stage 1 of InterStim surgery is the test stage. It varies on how long you will have it. I had it for 7 days. I have been on many forums and have made many friends who have had it and most of them were 2-3 weeks of stage 1. I did meet a woman on facebook, who is from Europe and she had to wait 16 weeks! I don't know if I could have done that!

Anyway, they leads are connected (not on the sacral nerve) but just below it. Then the lead (wire in picture) is brought out through the back of your hip (lower back) and you have to carry it around like that during stage 1. The battery is heavy and awkward, especially when you are sleeping.

I wore sweat pants the entire 7 days and that battery pack would weigh them down all the time.

It worked for me almost immediately. I noticed a big difference. I am so glad I only had to wait 7 days for the permanent implant. Trust me the permanent implant is not this big!

There were times when I would catch the lead on something and it would pull and OUCH that hurt! It also freaked me out a bit as I was always nervous of the kids pulling on it, which happened a few times.

Anyway, it sounds horrible and scary and it really is not the funnest thing I have ever done, but definitley worth all the trouble.

I will post stage 2 surgery information next!



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    • Tawna profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Oh that is not fun. sorry I just go this comment. I hope things got better for you!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Doing in stage 1 now. Only problem I am having is with the grounding pad keeps coming loose,where it's located on my back.

    • Tawna profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Sorry Stephanie I did not even see there was a comment here. I work at home and I was up and exercising within a couple days. Just be careful hitting things with your hurts!

    • Tawna profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      I am glad it worked for you Diane. Every now and then I get that same sensation you talk about. Twice I ahve had to turn it off for a few hours but it has been 2 years and I am still good!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have had interstim since 2005. I was not allowed to work during stage 1 due to the external wires and possibility of infection, luckily that was only a week. My doctor would not allow me to return to work for 1-2 weeks post implant. The interstim was Godsend for me and would recommend anyone discuss it with their doctor to make sure it's right for them. I've had very few problems with the device. Every once in a while I feel it and get a little "achy" at the implant site. This is very bearable and far outweighs the accidents I previously had to deal with.

    • Tawna profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      I am a WAHM so I was "to work" by the next day with my kids. But honestly if I would have had an outside job I would have gone the next day. Only complaint is that the battery pack was kind of heavy and annoying so just packing it around would be the biggest issue. I did not hurt though, just uncomfortable. If you can take the week off of work during stage one it would be better.

      After stage 2, definitely could have gone back to work the next day. So much better then stage one.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Did u return to work right away

    • Terrylee5151 profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      So glad this worked for you Tawna. I had never heard of InterStim until I met you.


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