Background: Sacral nerve modulation (SNM) is an established treatment for urinary and fecal incontinence in patients for whom conservative management has failed.
Objective: This study assessed the outcome and cost analysis of SNM compared to alternative medical and surgical treatments.
Methods: Clinical outcome and cost-effectiveness analyses were performed in parallel with a prospective, multicenter cohort study that included 369 consecutive patients with urge urinary and/or fecal incontinence. The duration of follow-up was 24 months, and costs were estimated from the national health perspective. Cost-effectiveness outcomes were expressed as incremental costs per 50% of improved severity scores (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio).
Results: The SNM significantly improved the continence status (P < 0.005) and quality of life (P < 0.05) of patients with urge urinary and/or fecal incontinence compared to alternative treatments. The average cost of SNM for urge urinary incontinence was € 8525 (95% confidence interval, € 6686–€ 10,364; P = 0.001) more for the first 2 years compared to alternative treatments. The corresponding increase in cost for subjects with fecal incontinence was € 6581 (95% confidence interval, € 2077–€ 11,084; P = 0.006). When an improvement of more than 50% in the continence severity score was used as the unit of effectiveness, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for SNM was € 94,204 and € 185,160 at 24 months of follow-up for urinary and fecal incontinence, respectively.
Conclusions: The SNM is a cost-effective treatment for urge urinary and/or fecal incontinence.