New treatment relieves patient's pelvic pain

Millions of people suffer from urological problems. They try traditional treatments, such as nerve stimulation in order to reduce the pain.

For many, the traditional treatments do not end the problem.

Today, a Michigan doctor has pioneered a treatment that could be the solution these patients need.

Donna Pelto says, "For months, my daughter and I went from doctor to doctor to doctor."

Becky Petrie, Donna's daughter, adds, "Right away we knew something was wrong, we just didn't know what."

Donna Pelto knew how to describe her debilitating pain.

She says, "You get your charcoal briquettes to the point where they're red and they're hot and then stick them up in between your legs, and that's what it feels like."

Dr. Kenneth M. Peters, the Director of Beaumont Women’s Urology Center, has pioneered an outpatient procedure that would relieve her pain.

Peters says, "We've developed a way to place the electrode at the pudendal, which is a nerve that comes further deeper into the pelvis."

An electrical pulse generator is connected to the electrode and implanted in the patient's buttock.

"It is a pacemaker for the nerves that control a lot of functions of the pelvis such as the bladder, the bowel, and the pelvic floor,” Peters says.

The device sends a signal to the brain to ignore abnormal signals that cause bowel and urinary issues, or pelvic pain like Donna has. The level of relief is remotely controlled by the patient.

Since receiving the treatment, Donna says she feels a major difference.

Peters says, "Every patient I see for the first time, I tell them they're going to be better because I believe it 100 percent.”

Now, his patients believe it too.

The FDA allows companies to sell these exempt devices for profit.

Critics of the process say it puts untested devices into the medical community and companies can use it as a loophole to get their product to market faster.


REPORT: MB #3727

BACKGROUND: Pelvic pain is easy to identify because it is the lowest part of the pelvis and abdomen. This type of pain may be considered very intense and the pain is known to travel to the thighs, lower back, or buttocks. This pain is common in women and men and can come about from musculoskeletal sources, or from urinary or reproductive systems. (Source:
CAUSES: Women are more likely to experience pelvic pain more than men, but it is not unheard of for men to experience the same pain. In women, pelvic pain can stem from an issue in the reproductive organs. The pain may also arise from internal organs such as the colon or bladder. Common causes in men and women are:
* Broken pelvis
* Kidney stones or infection
* Bladder disorders
* STDs
* Nerve conditions
* Hernia
* Intestinal disorders (Source:
SYMPTOMS: When symptoms occur, a person may find relief in lying down or resting. Pelvic pain may become extreme if one is standing for a long period of time or during exercise. Typical signs and symptoms are a constant severe pain, pressure in pelvis area, intermittent pain, and cramping or sharp pain. If any symptoms are to last more than six months, then pain can be described as chronic. (Source: and
NEW TREATMENT: A pacemaker for the pelvic region of the body is now being used to control patient's pain. The pudendal nerve stimulation is a new treatment that stimulates the pudendal nerve to improve the function of internal organs. This method is preferred over the sacral nerve stimulation because there are no side effects to other parts of the body. The procedure is done as an outpatient as doctors place a small electrode in the pudendal nerve near the pelvis. Once the procedure is over, patients are able to control the stimulation of the nerve by a click of a button. (Source: and

Kenneth M. Peters, MD
Chairman of Urology
Director of Beaumont Women's Urology Center
Beaumont Health System

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