What to Expect during TMS
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TMS THERAPY SESSION?
The patient is seated in a reclineable treatment chair with head - and footrest. Pillows are placed around the patient's head. The pillow becomes rigid once the air is evacuated. This helps ensure that the patient's head is stable and that the patient is comfortable.
Patients are fitted with a cotton cap marked with the exact treatment location, while a TMS operator - or the physician, places the TMS coil on the patient's head as marked on the cap and begins the TMS treatment. The TMS device delivers a series of magnetic pulses to the areas of the brain indicated in the treatment plan. The pulses are not painful, but you may feel a light tapping sensation through the scalp during treatment.
The stimulator can run a variety of FDA cleared protocols. A session lasts around 15 minutes, but may vary between 3 and 20 minutes based on your prescribed therapy protocol. A full treatment consists of around 36 sessions in total. During treatment, the patient may read a book or listen to music. TMS may cause headache for some, or mild discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medication may therefore be taken prior to treatment. Patients are able to return to their daily activities following treatment, and there is no downtime following the procedure.