We invite you to come into our office for a consultation where we will discuss how TMS works, describe the process in more detail, and discuss your experience with depression (or other brain-based conditions) and whether TMS may be a good option for you.
If during the consultation we determine that TMS is the right treatment option for you, we will schedule an appointment for you with one of our TMS-trained physicians, Dr. Miles Simmons or Dr. Sean McCloy to conduct a complete evaluation. With the treatment of depression, insurance benefits will then be examined and the pre-approval process completed.
Once approved, treatment sessions can be scheduled to begin quickly. At the first treatment appointment the physician will determine the optimal placement and strength of the magnetic field. Each subsequent treatment will typically last no more than an hour. You will remain awake and alert during each session. The magnetic pulses make a loud clicking sound and feel like a tapping on the scalp but should not result in more than mild discomfort. If you wish, you can listen to music during the TMS session.
After the treatment you can drive and resume your normal activity. TMS is non-invasive, meaning it does not involve surgery, and has no systemic effects. Typical TMS side effects are transient — mild irritation or discomfort at the treatment site, and headaches. We ask that you take an aspirin or other pain reliever before coming for your treatment — just to ward off any potential discomfort.
The FDA-cleared course of treatment for depression involves sessions 5 days a week for 6 weeks and then a taper of 3 one week, 2 the next and one the final week. As you progress through your treatment, we will regularly assess your state using a depression rating scale — the PHQ-9 and other rating instruments. We ask that you complete these ratings at the end of each week of treatment. That allows both you and us to track your progress in more concrete terms. Using these rating tools and your feedback we work with you to determine the eventual number of treatments.
It must be noted, that as with all medical interventions, there are some people who appear not to respond to treatment. However, for many people that do respond, this is an incredibly exciting breakthrough that gives hope to the millions of people who are suffering from this debilitating condition.