Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation | TMS Treatment | MedStar Health

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific brain regions to improve symptoms of depression. A certified provider of TMS performs the procedure in our office setting as part of our comprehensive Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. The patient is awake for the entire 20-minute treatment.

Who benefits from this treatment?

Patients who have tried multiple antidepressants and psychotherapy, but have not seen improvement, may benefit from this procedure.

What to expect

An average TMS treatment visit lasts 20 minutes. A typical treatment regimen occurs five days a week for 4-6 weeks.

Dimmed lighting promotes a therapeutic environment. We do not incorporate psychotherapy or medication management during the 20-minute session. Immediately after treatment, patients can drive and work.

TMS does not interfere with psychotherapy or most medications. Therefore, unless advised otherwise, patients should continue to take prescribed antidepressants and receive services from outpatient psychiatrists or therapists at prescribed intervals.

Are there any side effects?

TMS is well-tolerated overall. Some of the more common side effects include headaches and scalp irritation underneath where the magnet is placed. The most serious side effect is seizures, although this risk is exceedingly low.


Mood and Anxiety Disorders Consultation Clinic at MedStar Georgetown

2115 Wisconsin Ave NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20007