Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

Proven to be a safe and effective treatment to help patients achieve long term remission from major depressive disorder (MDD), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is FDA-approved for patients with MDD who have not been able to regain their quality of life from talk and/or medication therapies alone.

St. Joseph Hospital is proud to be the first hospital in Orange County to offer TMS therapy for the treatment of depression. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with major depressive disorder, this treatment provides an alternative to medications and is less invasive than electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Benefits include:

  • Non-drug
  • Few reported side effects
  • Non-invasive
  • Long-term symptom relief
  • Covered by most insurance plans

How Does TMS Therapy Work?

TMS therapy works by using a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate a specific area of the brain (left prefrontal cortex) involved in mood regulation. The magnetic stimulation delivers pinpoint accuracy to the targeted brain region, which results in an improved mood. TMS is delivered through a small, curved device with a magnetic coil that rests on the patient’s head. Patients remain awake and alert during each TMS therapy session, which takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after the treatment session is complete. The most common side effect reported with TMS therapy is mild discomfort near the treatment site, which typically subsides after the first week of treatments.

Am I Eligible for TMS Therapy?

For people with depression who have not benefited from antidepressant medication, TMS therapy can offer hope for long-lasting relief of symptoms. If you agree with two or more of these statements, TMS therapy may be right for you.

  • Depression symptoms have interfered with my daily life.
  • I am not satisfied with the results I get from depression medication.
  • I have had or worry about side effects from depression medications.
  • I have switched medications for depression due to side effects.
  • I am interested in a proven, non-drug therapy for depression.

Please speak with your physician to determine if TMS therapy is right for you. For information about referrals, email us.

Will my Insurance Cover TMS Therapy?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Tricare, cover TMS therapy. If your insurance does not cover this treatment, please speak with one of our patient financial advisors by calling 800-378-4189 to find out if you are eligible to enroll in our Patient Financial Assistance Program.