Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital is now offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatments for adults ages 18 and older who suffer from severe depression. TMS is an outpatient procedure ideal for patients with symptoms that cannot be managed by medication. If you have found that medication and talk therapy are not working for you, there is a chance that you may be treatment resistant. TMS is a proven, effective treatment alternative for those who fall within the treatment resistant category. San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, is the first private hospital to offer this service. Inpatient and outpatient procedures are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a series of repetitive and highly focused magnetic pulses that are designed to stimulate brain cells. It is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that’s performed at SABH by a medical doctor and technician specialized in TMS treatment.

During TMS, the patient will be comfortably seated while a ‘coil’ is placed against the head. While depressed patients are shown to have reduced electrical activity in certain areas of the brain, this coil uses a focused electromagnet to pulse a magnetic field to targeted areas, therefore increasing brain activity to normal levels. TMS essentially re-awakens these cells.

Approximately 58% of patients with treatment resistant Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), respond positively to TMS therapy, showing reduced symptoms of depression. The effectiveness solely depends on the individuals condition and prior treatment outcomes.

What can I expect during a TMS treatment?

You will be seated in a comfortable chair while measurements are taken. You may be handed a pair of earplugs to use during the session. The treatment will begin with a doctor placing a magnetic coil on your head. You may feel a moderate tapping, as you will be awake throughout the duration of the 40 minute treatment. After treatment is complete, you will be able to drive yourself home and resume your normal daily activities.

TMS treatments are administered 5 days per week over a 6 week period. It is a safe and well tolerated procedure showing very mild to moderate, short term side effects including scalp discomfort and mild headaches.

Am I a candidate for TMS treatment?

If you or your loved one suffers from severe depression that cannot be managed by medication, TMS treatment is an appropriate option for you. Adults with MDD who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from antidepressant medications should talk to the San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital staff about TMS therapy options.

TMS is not recommended for people with the following metal or implanted medical devices:

  • Stents
  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Implanted vagus nerve or deep brain stimulators
  • Electrodes for monitoring brain activity
  • Cochlear implants for hearing
  • Implanted stimulators
  • Magnetic implants
  • Bullet fragments
  • Implanted electrical devices including medication pumps and pacemakers

If you or your loved one is suffering from severe depression without improvement from medication and other treatment types, contact San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital today to discuss TMS options. To learn more about the SABH TMS program, or for a confidential assessment, please call 210-541-5350 or 877-514-0010