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How do I prepare for my biofeedback appointment?

We ask you to watch this educational video prior to your appointment.

What is biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle retraining?

Biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle retraining is a treatment to help patients learn to strengthen or relax their pelvic floor muscles in order to improve bowel or bladder function and decrease some types of pelvic floor pain.  It is a painless process that uses special sensors and a computer monitor to display information about muscle activity.  This information or “feedback” is used to gain sensitivity, and with practice, control over pelvic floor muscle function. An important part of biofeedback therapy is consistent practice of the pelvic floor muscle exercises at home.  With biofeedback, an individual can learn to stop using the incorrect muscles, and start using the correct ones.

Who can benefit?

Conditions that can be improved with pelvic muscle retraining include:  fecal incontinence, urinary incontinence, constipation that involves difficult or painful evacuation and some types of pelvic floor pain. 

How is biofeedback performed?

Biofeedback is done in an office setting with a registered nurse who is specially trained in this type of therapy.  During the session the patient is seated in a comfortable chair in regular clothes.  Two sensors are used.  One is placed on the abdomen and another small sensor is placed in the anal canal.  These sensors are designed to measure the electrical activity of the  muscles that control bowel and bladder function. As the patient tightens or relaxes their muscles, changes are seen on the computer monitor.  Visualizing this information helps to identify the correct muscles and learn to make changes that are needed.

A session usually lasts one hour.  Initially a series of four weekly sessions are scheduled.    During the initial session the intake questionnaire and bowel diary are reviewed.  An assessment of lifestyle factors i.e. fluid intake, dietary fiber and supplements, exercise, medication and their effects is done.  At the end of the session the patient is given “homework” to perform pelvic floor exercises that are specific to the problem.  Other recommendations re: diet, fluid and exercise may be made in order to achieve the best results.  Active participation is very important to success.

Who provides the service?

The Biofeedback Program Director is  Ann Lowry, MD. The following therapists are specially trained to provide biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle retraining.  They are supervised by an on site Colon and Rectal Surgeon. 

Susan Ness, RN, BSN, BCB-PMD

Tracy Sonterre-Rieger, RN

Biofeedback is offered at the  Edina,  Minneapolis,  St. Paul,  Coon Rapids, and  Pelvic Floor Center locations.

How do I know if biofeedback is the right treatment for me?

It is important to consult a qualified physician when considering treatment options. A thorough assessment of the muscles and nerves in the pelvic floor needs to be done. One or more of a variety of diagnostic tests may be necessary.  Biofeedback may be a treatment recommended as a result of the evaluation.

Once a physician referral for biofeedback is made you may call to schedule an appointment.  Please call 651-312-1644 to arrange an appointment.

Insurance Information

Biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle retraining is reimbursed by Medicare and most other insurance plans.  Once an appointment is scheduled you will be given specific pricing and coding information to assist you in understanding the costs associated with biofeedback treatment.  We highly recommend you then contact your insurance plan to see if this is a covered service.  Please feel free to call our business office at 651-312-1505 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Helpful Resouces 

 - Biofeedback Certification International Alliance
 - International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders