Frequently Asked Questions about TMS

Are there age restrictions for TMS?

TMS is currently approved for adults, aged 18 and older.

What insurances accept TMS treatment?

Most commercial insurances and Medicare accept TMS treatment. Coverage is limited for Medicaid insurance. Currently Medical Assistance does not cover TMS treatments. After your consultation with the psychiatrist to determine if TMS is right for you, you will meet with our TMS Coordinator to go over insurance questions.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

LVPG physicians can refer directly to our office and you can also call yourself regarding getting started with TMS.  Our phone number is 610-297-7500.

Is TMS painful?

Some people experience some pain and discomfort under the treatment coil, but very few people discontinue TMS because the pain is not tolerable. Generally, the pain associated with TMS gets better as time goes by with treatments.  

What is the difference between TMS and ECT?

TMS and ECT are both used to treat severe depression by stimulating the brain to produce an antidepressant effect. The main differences are:

  • TMS does not require anesthesia and is done within the office.
  • TMS does not cause memory loss or any cognitive changes.
  • TMS effects can begin to emerge after several treatments but generally takes a few weeks before individuals start to notice a change. ECT are generally seen after the first few treatments. 

What is course of treatment for TMS?

Each treatment lasts for approximately 20 minutes. Clients receive treatments five days per week until they reach session #30, after which they complete three sessions per week, then two sessions per week, then one session in the last week.

Is TMS more effective together with psychotherapy?

We always recommend that psychotherapy be incorporated into both medication management and TMS. Therapy is an important component of treatment in the management of depression.

How soon can I expect to see improvement?

While some people report feeling better quickly, it generally takes several weeks to start to see the effects of TMS working.

Can I return for an additional series of treatments if initial effects wear off?

You can return for additional treatments if you have a recurrence of symptoms. Generally we recommend clients wait for 6 months before returning for follow-up sessions. 

Is TMS also used for Bipolar Disorder or Anxiety?

TMS is not currently FDA approved for depression in Bipolar Disorder or anxiety.