FAQs

What does TMS do?

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) treatment involves placing a coil near your head during brief outpatient procedures. The coil is a magnetic field generator, and it uses magnetic pulses similar to those employed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. These pulses are highly focused and create small electric currents in specific areas of your brain where low activity causes depression. Although you will not feel the electric currents, they activate neurons and enhance brain functioning.

Is TMS like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?

No. TMS therapy is not like Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). ECT is a treatment based on using electricity to induce seizures. On the other hand, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses magnetic pulses to non-invasively stimulate specific brain regions associated with major depressive disorder.

ECT requires anesthesia and has serious side effects, including memory loss. TMS therapy is performed in our offices, requires no anesthesia, and has no systemic side effects.

Am I a good candidate for TMS?

If medication and/or therapy has been ineffective in treating your depression or you cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressants, you may be a good candidate for TMS.
You may not be eligible for TMS if you are susceptible to seizures or have metal in or around your head. Our experts would be happy to consult with you to determine whether TMS is appropriate treatment for you.

What are TMS treatments like?

TMS treatment involves brief outpatient procedures performed while the patient sits in a chair. On average, patients attend five sessions per week, each of which has a duration of 19 to 37-minutes for five to six weeks. You will be able to travel on your own, to and from appointments and resume your usual activities immediately after each session. There are is no negative effect on cognition or alertness and no after procedure down time. You will remain awake during these short non-invasive procedures.

Does TMS hurt?

TMS treatments should not hurt, although some patients may have minor headaches or mild scalp discomfort, which typically subsides after the first few treatments.

What are the risks and side effects of TMS?

MS is a safe noninvasive brain stimulation. TMS does not require the use of anesthesia and is not intended to cause seizures. It is not systemic, meaning it does not circulate throughout the body like prescription drug therapy.
TMS treatments should not hurt, although some patients may have minor headaches or initial scalp discomfort which typically subsides after the first few sessions. TMS does not cause memory loss. Your magnetic field exposure, which throughout the full course of the treatment is less than you would receive from an MRI, is minimal.

Will TMS treatment be effective?

TMS is one of the most effective procedures available for depression. TMS has been in use since 1985 and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2008.

Why should I try TMS again if I’ve had a depressive relapse?

Although most patients stay better long-term after a successful course of TMS, depression can be a recurrent condition. Some patients receive booster sessions for recurrence of depression or may benefit from maintenance sessions to prevent depression from returning.

How long does the antidepressant effect last?
Will I need any therapy beyond the first treatment regimen?

NeuroStar TMS is the only TMS system with the durability of its effects established over 12 months. In a clinical trial, 2 out of 3 patients who had either responded to treatment or completely remitted their depression symptoms reported 12 months later that they remained at the level they were at the end of the trial. Additionally, after the trial, only 1 in 3 patients needed to return for ‘maintenance’ TMS sessions.

Can I take antidepressant medication while receiving TMS?

Yes. TMS therapy can be safely and effectively used with or without antidepressant medications.

Will the treatment hurt me or cause side effects?

The treatment is without the side-effects typically experienced with anti-depressants.

Some patients report of a mild discomfort or headache, but you should be able to resume your daily activities right after treatment.

TMS is non-invasive, non-systemic, and has not been shown to cause any systemic side effects. Our TMS treatments are administered at our offices and do not require hospitalization or anesthesia.

Should we have any testing done prior to coming in?

No. All past information we will need will be filled out on the New Patient packet or at the intake appointment.

Is TMS therapy covered by insurance?

TMS therapy is currently covered by over 80% of insurance providers. If you’re interested in learning more about your personal coverage, contact our TMS specialist at 425-919-6826
In addition to working with most insurance carriers, we have other financing options available. We are able to assist most people to get the care they need. There are payment options available and we will work with you. Call us today at 425-919-6826 to speak with a financial specialist who can help find the right solution for you.

we want to hear from you