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Sacral anterior root stimulator

An implantable medical device enabling patients with a spinal cord lesion to empty their bladders.

Additional recommended knowledge


From 1969 onwards Brindley [1] developed the sacral anterior root stimulator, with successful human trials from the early 1980's onwards. Early attempts were confounded by the fact that the nerve roots that supply both the bladder and sphincter muscles would contract simultaneously on stimulation, cancelling each other's effect.


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 bladder emptying. It also assists in defecation and enables male patients to have a sustained full erection.

The related procedure of sacral nerve stimulation [2] is for the control of incontinence in otherwise able-bodied patients.


  1. ^ Brindley GS, Polkey CE, Rushton DN (1982): Sacral anterior root stimulator for bladder control in paraplegia. Paraplegia 20: 365-381.
  2. ^ 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.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sacral_anterior_root_stimulator". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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