NeuroStar TMS Procedure
A NeuroStar® TMS Therapy treatment session is a short outpatient procedure that lasts about 37 minutes. During treatment, you can relax in the treatment chair. You can also speak with our TMS Treatment Specialists, throughout the procedure. After the procedure, you can immediately return to your normal routine, including driving.
What to Expect During Your First TMS Treatment Session
Because your TMS-certified physician needs to determine how to most effectively administer treatment, your first session with Dr. Calabrese could last up to an hour and a half. You will be provided and asked to wear protective earplugs, as the system emits a tapping sound during operation.
Dr. Calabrese will first perform a test to identify your motor threshold. The motor threshold is the amount of magnetic field strength that results in a movement of your right thumb. This test is important because it identifies the magnetic field strength that will be used in your treatment. This field strength is customized for each patient to deliver the correct treatment dose.
After this initial procedure, Dr. Calabrese will determine the place on the head where the TMS treatment will be applied and the magnetic coil will be moved to that location. This will allow you to receive optimal treatment.
Our TMS Specialist will then administer TMS Therapy over about 40 minutes. In 30-second intervals, the device will deliver rapid “pulses” of the magnetic fields. These will feel like tapping on your scalp. Some patients may find this tapping uncomfortable. Dr. Calabrese may be able to make adjustments to reduce this discomfort.
What to Expect After The TMS Treatment
Immediately following each treatment session, you may return to your normal daily routine, including driving. During or after treatment you may experience headache or discomfort at the site of stimulation. These are common side effects that often improve as further treatment sessions are administered. If necessary, you can treat this discomfort with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, Dr. Calabrese can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field pulses being administered in order to make treatment more comfortable.
In clinical trials, most patients who benefited from NeuroStar TMS Therapy experienced results by the fourth week of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer. You should discuss your depression symptoms with Dr. Calabrese and with your therapist and psychiatrist/APRN throughout the treatment course. If your symptoms persist, you may want to consider other treatment options.