It’s one of the most common questions we get asked. Of course, patients want to know what will happen before, during and after a TMS treatment.
Our experienced and caring practitioners will guide you through the whole process and be by your side every step of the way, but here is a quick guide on what to expect.
When a patient first calls, we offer advice on what TMS can achieve as a treatment, guidance on costs and the usual length of a course of treatment. If the patient would like more information and advice, one of our consultants will then arrange a free call with them to discuss if TMS will be an effective form of treatment for them and, if so, how TMS could work for them.
If they would like to go ahead, we invite them in for a face-to-face mental health assessment and the chance to see the TMS equipment for themselves. The consultant psychiatrist will assess the current and past issues and background to come to a diagnosis. If TMS is considered an appropriate treatment for them then they will talk through everything that happens during treatment, including the sounds and procedures, so that they know exactly what to expect. From there, we create a bespoke care plan and discuss the treatment options with them.
As TMS does not affect you physically, no physical assessment or investments are needed and, once the patient has signed the consent form and is happy to go ahead with TMS as their preferred choice, the treatment can begin immediately.
The treatment: relax, talk or listen to music
We invite patients into the therapy room, where they can relax in the treatment chair. It is similar to a dentist’s chair. Patients will be asked to wear a cap over their head and we lightly mark this cap to indicate the area of the brain that requires treatment. We then carefully lower the ‘coil’ over the patient’s head ready to start. The coil looks like a large figure-of-eight plastic paddle and it very lightly touches the scalp. We use Magstim TMS systems, the pioneers of the technology.
The patient will hear a series of loud clicking noises and a light tapping on their head under the coil but it is completely non-invasive and pain-free.
During treatment patients need to remain still but they can listen to music, watch a TV show, or have a chat with the clinician. It is completely up to them how they’d like to spend that time. Many use the time to catch up on some rest.
Once the treatment is finished, which varies from a few minutes to half an hour depending on their care plan, they are free to go about their day as normal including driving or returning to work.
TMS is a very simple treatment that can achieve incredible results. Treatment times vary from patient to patient but we often see results in just three weeks of daily TMS sessions.
TMS can be easily be incorporated into a patient’s day with very little disruption and – most importantly – it really works.