NICE, in new draft guidance, has said people with an overactive bladder could have a rechargeable wireless device fitted to ease their condition.
Inserted under the skin in the upper buttock, the Axonics sacral neuromodulation (SNM) stimulates the sacral nerve with an electric current via an electrode (thin wire). The electrode is attached to an implantable pulse generator which stimulates the nerves associated with bladder function. The aim of the stimulation is to make the bladder work in a more controllable way; similar to a pacemaker for the heart.
A handheld remote control operated by the patient activates the stimulator, adjusts the stimulation amplitude, and checks the battery status. A wireless charger, attached to the implanted stimulator over the skin, is used to charge the stimulator.
The implanted device is programmed by a clinician in an outpatient setting using a portable tablet.
Meindert Boysen, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: “Clinical trial evidence seen by our independent committee shows that Axonics can help improve quality of life for people with symptoms caused by an overactive bladder.”
“This device will last longer than the current non-rechargeable system, resulting in a cost saving for the NHS after six years of use, and, importantly for patients, fewer replacement surgeries.”