Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions to consider before receiving TMS therapy:
What does a typical TMS treatment look like?
Does it hurt to receive a TMS treatment?
What are common side effects?
Who administers the treatment?
Does my insurance cover TMS therapy?
Questions to consider during TMS therapy:
How long does treatment last?
What do I do during the treatment?
Can I resume my normal daily activites after treatment?
Questions to consider following TMS therapy:
Will I have to receive more TMS treatments in the future?
TMS therapy is a non-invasive treatment procedure. While patients comfortably recline in the treatment chair, a small, curved magnetic coil is placed on the left side of their head. Our state-of-the-art NeuroStar© TMS machine will then deliver short, magnetic pulses to the target areas of the brain. The strength of these pulses is specifically calibrated to each individual patient. During the treatment, patients will hear a clicking sound and may feel a gentle tapping sensation.
TMS is a safe and tolerable procedure. Our NeuroStar© TMS machine delivers a steady stream of gentle pulses to targeted areas of the brain that are shown to relate to depression. Some patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort at the treatment site. However, in our decade of experience, these symptoms rarely last longer than the first few treatments.
At Kalamazoo TMS & Behavioral Health, we strive to make sure each TMS treatment is a comfortable and even enjoyable experience for our patients. For this reason, we are careful to calibrate each patient's therapy to their needs and work with them to deliver the best treatment plan possible.
Because it is not a depression drug, NeuroStar TMS Therapy does not have the same side effects that are associated with traditional antidepressant medications. More than 1.6 million treatments have been performed with NeuroStar, further proving its safety and tolerability record .
In clinical trials, fewer than 5% of people discontinued treatment due to adverse events. The most common side effect was temporary pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site during therapy that usually resolves within the first week of treatment.
Other temporary side effects (occurring in ≥5% of people and twice the rate of placebo) include eye pain, toothache, muscle twitch, facial pain, and pain of the skin.
The majority of our staff at Kalamazoo TMS & Behavioral Health is certified and trained by the leading administer of TMS therapy: NeuroStar Advanced TMS Therapy. During each session, a trained staff member accompanies patients to monitor the treatment, as well as ensure patient safety and comfort.
As more TMS patients experience remission from their depression, more insurance companies are willing to support this innovative treatment. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Priority Health, and United Behavioral Health* authorize coverage for TMS on a case-by-case basis. Once Dr. Tareen determines a patient meets the eligibility criteria for TMS, our TMS Coordinator will communicate with the insurance company directly to obtain authorization. If any concerns arise regarding insurance authorization or payment, patients will promptly be notified by the TMS Coordinator. We are also happy to create a custom payment plan for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket.
*Those with United Behavioral Health or any other insurance company should note that while they may be eligible to receive TMS coverage on a case-by-case basis, additional office visits with the psychiatrist will be considered out-of-network.
Each TMS treatment lasts for roughly 20-40 minutes. The total treatment plan includes 36 sessions. For this reason, patients receive treatment 5 days a week for the first 6 weeks of treatment. After the initial 30 sessions, patients begin a tapering period. The remaining sessions are then administered at less frequent intervals over the course of three weeks until treatment is completed.
In order to ensure patients are alert and awake during treatment, we offer a range of TV shows and movies to be enjoyed during each session. Patients are also welcome to bring in DVDs or CDs of their choice, however, we suggest viewing light-hearted titles.
Yes! Since there are no effects to alertness or memory, patients are free to resume their normal activities immediately following their treatment session, including driving.
TMS therapy has proven to be a long-lasting treatment for severe depression. However, in some cases, patients, in collaboration with Dr. Tareen, feel the need to receive a single TMS once a month, in order to maintain the gains of their inital remission. In these cases, we provide "booster sessions" for patients who have already completed a full cycle of TMS therapy. These sessions are not covered by insurance and must be paid out-of-pocket by the patient at the time of treatment.