Objectives: To determine patient factors prompting anterior abdominal wall placement of the sacral nerve stimulator implantable pulse generator and investigate revision and infection rates for buttock (standard) and abdominal placement. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records of consecutive sacral nerve stimulation procedures by a single surgeon from 2012 to 2017 at a single institution. Results: 75 patients underwent sacral nerve stimulation––60 with standard and 15 with abdominally placed implantable pulse generators. The mean age and body mass index of the standard group was higher than that of the abdominal group and the majority was female. A greater proportion of patients in the abdominal group had a neurological diagnosis and was wheelchair-dependent. Overall, a total of 20 patients underwent 38 revision surgeries. The indications for revision surgery were pain, loss of efficacy, or lead migration. The standard group accounted for more revisions than the abdominal group (34vs 4 cases, P =.048), with no revisions due to pain in the abdominal group. The infection rate (2% vs 13%, P =.10), average time from implantation to revision, and operative duration were not statistically different between groups. Conclusion: In a subset of patients who were wheelchair-dependent or lacked gluteal fat, placement of the implantable pulse generator in the anterior abdominal wall resulted in no revisions due to pain. Operative duration and infection rates were similar between abdominal and standard placement. Abdominal placement with extended length leads could be considered as a primary or revision option in these select patients.
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