Axonics implant side effects are possible following Axonic therapy. However, the procedure is effective, safe, and FDA-approved.
The procedure effectively treats overactive bladder symptoms (such as urinary urgency incontinence). Additionally, the procedure has been used to treat urinary retention and bowel (fecal) incontinence.
According to the Incontinence Institute, stool accumulation in the rectum, also known as encopresis or impacted bowel, is the leading cause of fecal impaction.
The stool hardens and becomes impacted. The impacted stool gets harder to pass, and behind the impaction, runny, loose feces start to ooze out around the impaction. As a result, overflow incontinence occurs.
Therefore, during the procedure, a device (6 mm thick,22 mm wide,42 mm long) will be inserted into your lower back, above your abdomen.
Your doctor will use local anesthesia, while others may prefer to use general anesthesia to put you to sleep during the procedure. An Axonic Implant is completed in 20 to 30 minutes.
Most of the time, the Axonics implant procedure is quick and safe. However, this article will review some of the 10 shocking Axonics Implant side effects you need to know.
Where is the Axonics Implant placed?
It has four cylindrical electrodes that are made of lead. It’s implanted next to the sacral nerve roots.
In addition, it helps restore communication between the brain, bladder, and bowels. As a result, it improves the symptoms of incontinence.
Before you get the treatment, consult your doctor. After approval, tests need to be conducted to monitor the level of relief from your symptoms.
Keeping track of your symptoms helps the doctor determine if this is the proper treatment.
The surgery can take up to 30 minutes.
Axonics Implant Side Effects
While Axonics is a promising new development in the field of incontinence, it’s important to note that, like all medical devices, it does come with side effects.
The Axonics implant side effects are not severe. Remember, the procedure is FDA-approved and safe.
However, knowing some possible Axonics implant side effects of having the procedure is best. The information should be beneficial if you are, or will soon be, a recipient of an Axonics implant.
#1. It Can Cause Discomfort
A small implant is used during the therapy to stimulate the sacral nerves, which are the nerves that control the bowel and bladder. This is to help restore everyday communication between the brain, the bladder, and the bowel.
As a result, your symptoms may improve. In the process, you may experience mild discomfort from the stimulation. However, the pain and discomfort should not be a concern, as they resolve quickly.
#2. It Can Cause Pulling or Tingling
Other Axonics implant side effects include pulling or tingling at the site. After the Axonic Implant procedure, you’ll feel a change in sensation, mainly on the buttocks or your feet.
The tingling or pulling occurs as a result of the stimulation.
#3. It Can Cause Swelling at the Site
You will experience localized swelling at the site, just like you would after any other type of surgery. Dr. Aboutanos says, “After surgery, there is normal swelling.”
Thousands of cells are sent to the affected area as the body begins healing. This is a component of the inflammatory phase, the first stage of healing.
More swelling occurs due to the influx of these cells into the area. You shouldn’t be too concerned because the swelling will go away quickly.
#4. It Can Cause Numbness
Numbness is among the Axonics Implant side effects you may experience after the procedure. Some Axonics implant patients have reported mild numbness after the process. The numbness resolves with time.
#5. It Can Cause Infection at the Site
Swelling may also indicate infection following an Axonics implant. In addition, you might observe some redness on the site, which could indicate an infection.
However, infections are uncommon due to the widespread use of aseptic methods.
#6. It Makes You Feel Heat at the Site or Feet
The Axonics implant is inserted in the upper part of your buttock, just beneath the skin. While implanting the PNE lead, a set of accessories are used.
This includes stimulation cables and surgical instruments tailored to the procedure. One of the links is put at your feet while your doctor works with others on your lower back.
You will feel the heat at the site where your doctor placed the surgical tools following the procedure.
#7. It Can Cause Bleeding
Bleeding is an additional Axonics Implants side effect following the procedure. In addition, hematoma may occur. A hematoma is an unpleasant bruise.
Hematomas develop when blood pools under the skin due to an injury. The blood pooling makes the skin feel rubbery, bumpy, and spongy.
A hematoma, however, typically poses no danger. Therefore, your body will quickly resorb the pooling blood.
#8. It Can Cause Device Migration
Device migration or device erosion is also one of the possible but rare Axonics Implant side effects following the procedure. Once implanted, the Axonics device cannot be seen through the skin.
However, you might suddenly feel the device move away from your sacral nerve.
Thankfully, the device has a programming remote you can hold in your hand, so you can turn the Axonics device down if you need to.
If constant stimulation is unnecessary, doctors may also program the device to turn on and off at regular intervals. If the implant is ineffective, your doctor can remove the device and reverse the procedure.
#9. It Can Result in Technical Malfunction of the Implant
Axonics Implant technical failure is possible, though it is uncommon. Your body may occasionally reject the device due to an allergic reaction or immune system response to the implanted materials.
Additionally, you may suspect a technical issue if you attempt to control the device with your remote. Your doctor might need to take the device out and redo the procedure.
#10. It Can Result in Unintended Nerve Stimulation
During the procedure, the stimulator may interact with the unintended nerve, activating it.
This may result in undesirable changes in pelvic function due to the undesirable bladder or bowel function. This unintended stimulation may be uncomfortable.
You may experience shock or jolting, resulting in pain or irritation at the neurostimulator or lead site.
There have been no reports of long-term Axonics Implant side effects to date. However, considering Axonics therapy, you must be aware of all possible side effects.
The implant can last up to 15 years. Patients only need to recharge the device once a month wirelessly. Other devices require biweekly charging.
You can always speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before making significant or irreversible decisions.
Ask all your questions and concerns on the Axonics Implant procedure. Know about the requirements before, during, and after the procedure. Also, ask about possible results, complications, and concerns.
However, the Axonics Implant is the best if you want unparalleled control over your life, especially with your bowel movements.
Axonics Implant patients have shown a 58% reduction in fecal incontinence, according to studies. Similarly, 93% of participants expressed contentment with the Axonics treatment they received for their bowel symptoms.