What to Expect

What to Expect

What to Expect

For an individual who has not responded to antidepressant medications, or cannot tolerate their side effects, TMS may be a safe and effective alternative. TMS therapy is available by prescription only and is delivered under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

A typical course of treatment involves 30 treatments given Monday through Friday over a span of four to six weeks. The noninvasive, outpatient treatment lasts approximately 18 minutes and is performed while the patient rests comfortably in a reclining chair in the doctor’s office.

The magnet makes a sound while generating the magnetic pulses, and patients may feel a light tapping sensation on their head. The most common side effects are scalp discomfort and a mild headache, but side effects usually resolve in the first week. There is a very small risk of a seizure, but only about 1 out of every 1000 patients.

  • The patient reclines comfortably in the treatment chair, awake and alert.
  • A small curved device containing the magnetic coil rests lightly on the patient’s head.
  • The device delivers focused magnetic stimulation directly to the target areas of the brain.
  • The patient can immediately resume normal activities.
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