The first step in the dTMS treatment process is determining whether or not dTMS is an appropriate treatment for you. This is done in a consultation with our psychiatrist, who will review your symptoms, treatment history, and possible treatment options. When you contact Surya Psychiatric Clinic and Strive TMS Centers, our staff will schedule a consultation, which will last an hour for new patients and forty-five minutes for existing patients.
If dTMS is right for you, an initial treatment session will be scheduled. During the first visit, which may last over an hour, your psychiatrist will map the positioning and the motor threshold in your brain. Proper brain mapping and locating the ideal strategic area to target will be closely monitored by the physician during the first treatment and all follow-up visits. Placement of the treatment coil and the strength of the magnetic field are important factors in successful dTMS treatment.
The actual treatment session lasts about 30 minutes. As you sit reclined, awake and alert, the dTMS system delivers 40 rapid MRI strength magnetic pulses over 4 seconds. The pulses feel like a tapping on the scalp but without the sensation of anything touching the skin. The same 2 second sequence is repeated 55 times, approximately every twenty seconds. During the session you can watch television, listen to music, or simply sit back and relax.
After the treatment, you can drive and resume your normal day. dTMS is non-invasive, meaning it does not involve surgery, and also non-systemic, meaning no drugs are used, and therefore no drug side effects. Typical dTMS side effects are irritation or discomfort at the treatment site, or headache, and are usually mild.
Treatment sessions are then repeated each day using the settings initially determined by your Psychiatrist. A usual course of treatment involves sessions 5 days a week for 4 to 6 weeks, although this can vary depending on a patient’s response to treatment. A tapering set of treatments is sometimes used to ensure your improvement. As you progress through your therapy, your Psychiatrist, and the dTMS staff will regularly assess your progress and determine the eventual number of treatments.