Because I found there is so little accurate information on the internet regarding the removal of an interstim implant, I thought it might be a service to do away with some of the misinformation.
My interstim was implanted in 2004 for CES caused retention of urine. No therapy worked so an interstim implant was advised; it was very successful for its lifetime. However, I realized this year that the battery had been dead for a long time, something I was reluctant to admit to myself. And the area where the wires were attached in the lower back became very sensitive to touch. The original urologist who did the implant was no longer in practice so I was in a quandary from reading that no doctors would undertake to undo another surgeon's work. My doctor referred me to the well known Barnes Hospitals in St Louis, MO for a consult with their excellent urology group. I was told the implant could remain indefinitely without any problems but due to agitation in the lower back where the wire leads are connected, I didn't want to go that route.
The entire interstim implant was removed in the Same Day Surgery Unit; there were no problems, surgery was over and I was on my way home about 1 1/2 hours after the successful, stress free surgery. Healing was rapid with no need of pain medication during the few days of recovery. Recovery was much the same as for the implant, a small incision where the puncture wounds were so the wires could be removed. So nice not to have to deal with the sensitive "bump" in the lower back where the wires were fastened.
I am grateful for the years the interstim allowed me to avoid self-catherization; the interstim, when it works, is a wonderful invention for those who require intervention. I found the removal easier than the original implant. I hope that anyone facing the need for removal of an interstim implant without the original doctor available will be encouraged that a good urology unit can indeed remove the interstim without major surgery. No need to endure pain just because the original doctor is no longer available to undo his/her surgery.