This device is implanted over the sacral anterior root ganglia of the spinal cord; controlled by an external transmitter, it delivers intermittent stimulation which improves the ability to empty the bladder. It may also assist in defecation and also may enable male patients to have a sustained full erection. The device is implanted in one of two regions, either through intrathecal administration or extradurally. It is often performed in conjunction with a dorsal rhizotomy, and many groups believe that the best results are only seen when this procedure is performed alongside the implantation. The rhizotomy will remove sensory reflexes, which in men may include sexual reflexes. For some patients this is a major drawback to the device. For others, the benefits outweigh the downside.
^Brindley GS, Polkey CE, Rushton DN (1982): Sacral anterior root stimulator for bladder control in paraplegia. Paraplegia 20: 365-381.
^Schmidt RA, Jonas A, Oleson KA, Janknegt RA, Hassouna MM, Siegel SW, van Kerrebroeck PE. Sacral nerve stimulation for treatment of refractory urinary urge incontinence. Sacral nerve study group. J Urol 1999 Aug;16(2):352-357.