The Nerve Test Evaluation
BEFORE THE TEST
If possible, please stop all bladder medicine for days prior to your appointment for the test. Be sure to fill out your voiding diary for 3 days prior to the test. Stop Blood Thinners and Aspirin 5 days before the test per the doctors instructions.
DURING THE TEST PROCEDURE
Wear comfortable, easy fitting clothes (you’ll be laying on your stomach for about 20-30 minutes). The stimulation is usually described as feeling like a tap, flutter, pressure, buzzing or a poking sensation. The stimulation will be felt in the “bicycle seat area” between the legs. It may also be felt in the inner or outer thigh, calf, or on the tailbone itself.
DURING THE TESTING DAYS
Do not take your bladder medicine during this test.You will need to fill out your voiding diary beginning the day the leads are placed. This documents the results for us and for insurance coverage. This test requires as little stimulation as possible, so keep it gentle. More is not better! Too much stimulation can cause discomfort and it will stop helping your bladder. The stimulation should never hurt. The stimulation sensation will subside soon after it’s initially felt. This is normal. You will be given a controller to adjust the stimulation as necessary and instructed on its use. If you are not getting any improvement, you might need to adjust the stimulation periodically. Ask yourself in the mornings and at bedtime if you can still barely feel the stimulation. If the answer is no, increase the stimulation so that you can barely feel it; if the answer is yes, you can leave it as it is.
Bandages will be placed over the leads protecting them and holding them in place. Please BE CAREFUL with the area the bandages are covering! To keep the bandages in place during testing, take only a sponge bath or a “Hokey Pokey shower” (leaning into the shower water, wetting the front of your body wet while keeping your back and bandages DRY). If the bandages get wet they will come off.
Please avoid working out, running, lifting heavy objects (those heavier than a gallon of milk) and other strenuous activities that may dislodge the lead (this includes sex). Normal activities and work are fine (if it’s not strenuous).
After the Test
Remember that this is JUST A TEST! A successful test is an improvement in symptoms of 50% on any day during the test. For example, if you normally use 4 pads a day and on the 1st day of the test you use 2 pads, that would be a successful test. When the test is successful, further treatment can be achieved by placing a long term lead and stimulator under the skin.
This stimulator (battery) generally lasts for about 5 years and can easily be replaced or removed.