St. Luke's University Health Network


    • Region's First Interstim Therapy for Bowel Incontinence Performed at St. Luke's

Region's First Interstim Therapy for Bowel Incontinence Performed at St. Luke's

Region’s First Interstim Therapy for Bowel Incontinence Performed at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem

Camille Eyvazzadeh, MD 

Camille Eyvazzadeh

Bethlehem, PA (10-18-2012) – No doubt, the topic can be embarrassing, but bowel incontinence affects the lives of millions of people. Many who suffer believe it is simply part of the aging process; others may not be aware that it can be treated successfully and continue to live with the embarrassment and limitations caused by the condition.

Colorectal surgeon Camille Eyvazzadeh, MD, FACS,FASCRS, recently became first in the region to perform the InterStim® therapy procedure for bowel control at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem.

He and his physician colleagues from the Eyvazzadeh and Reilly Colon and Rectal Center are all trained to perform the procedure. They include Dr. W. Terence Reilly, Dr. Daniel J. Bowers, and Dr. Daniel J. Eyvazzadeh, who recently joined the practice after completing fellowship at the University of Minnesota, one of the leading programs in the use of the device for fecal incontinence in the US.

The minimally invasive outpatient procedure involves the insertion of a neurostimulator in the lower back that works by sending mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves to control bowel, rectum and bladder function.

“InterStim has been used for several years to successfully treat overactive bladder and other urinary incontinence issues,” says Dr. Eyvazzadeh. “However, it was only approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April 2011 for the treatment of chronic fecal incontinence in patients who are not candidates for more conservative therapies.”

“This outpatient procedure can be performed in less than an hour under mild sedation,” says Dr. Eyvazzadeh. “It involves the insertion of InterStim, a neurostimulator device that is inserted under the skin, usually in the upper buttocks. Before they can have the procedure, patients are asked to keep a diary of their bowel incontinence and then are placed on a test trial to ensure the treatment is appropriate for them.

Bowel incontinence can range from an occasional leakage to complete loss of bowel control. The condition is more common in women over the age of 65. It can result from chronic constipation, diarrhea, advanced age or damage to the pelvic floor and its nerves during childbirth.

“Fecal incontinence is not only embarrassing, but can affect a person’s emotional well-being and limit daily activities and social interactions,” says Dr. Eyvazzadeh, who has been practicing in the greater Lehigh Valley for 30 years.

Eyvazzadeh and Reilly Colon and Rectal Center’s main office is at 406 Delaware Avenue in Bethlehem, with satellite offices in Allentown, Coaldale and Easton. For information visit or call 610-866-2600.

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Sue Ross
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
St. Luke’s University Health Network