An individual approach tailored to your symptoms
Not all diseases of the digestive tract require surgery. For example, we can effectively treat a gastric ulcer or an excessively narrow stomach entrance with appropriate medication or an injection.
Some intestinal diseases can also be significantly improved through targeted nutritional advice and a subsequent change of diet. Accordingly, at Schoen Clinic we offer an extensive range of non-invasive treatments.
Conservative treatment methods
Treatment for severe upper abdominal painIf a disease in the area of the stomach or duodenum is suspected, an acid-inhibiting treatment may be prescribed as a first step. In addition, medicines that influence the movements of the stomach can be prescribed, for example in case of cramps. If this treatment fails to produce positive results within a few days, a gastroscopy can be performed once diseases of the other organs have been ruled out. This procedure always results in an accurate diagnosis. It is also possible to detect the Helicobacter mucosal bacterium by means other than a gastroscopy; for example in the patient's breath, blood or bowel movements. If the bacterium is detected, a targeted course of treatment can be carried out.
Surgical treatment methods
Gastric (stomach) pacemaker — Treat incontinence, avoid infections
The sacral nerves play a crucial role in controlling diuresis and bowel movements. They are located in the area of the sacrum, just above the coccyx. Via these nerves, the brain transmits commands in the form of electrical impulses along the spinal cord to the colon and bladder. In healthy people, for example, the information creating the sensation of a full bladder or a full rectum is transmitted back to the brain via the sacral nerves. However, damage to the sacral nerves results in unwanted or even erroneous messages being transmitted via the nerve pathways – incontinence is the result. However, stimulation of the sacral nerves via a bowel pacemaker can help to "correct" these messages. To make this possible, the pacemaker is implanted in the patient's buttocks or abdomen. From there, it transmits electrical impulses to the respective sacral nerves. The entire course of this treatment is covered by the health insurance companies.
Before surgery: test stimulation
First, our specialist consultant determines exactly which nerve best stimulates the muscles responsible for your bladder or bowel. We then carry out a test stimulation to check whether the treatment is effective for you. To do this, we insert a thin wire into your sacrum and connect it to a small device, which is worn on your belt during the test phase. By accurately recording your bladder or bowel activity in a diary, you can help us to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
In case of reduced incontinence: permanent implant
The test phase lasts several weeks — if you notice a clear improvement during this time, the next step is to permanently implant the pacemaker. During an operation lasting approximately one hour, it is inserted via two or three small skin incisions and connected to the stimulating electrode. The patient's nerves are not damaged by the electrical stimulation. The life of the battery is around five to nine years, and only a small incision under local anaesthetic is necessary to replace it.