ECT & DTMS Treatment in Philadelphia

Belmont Behavioral Health System offers a variety of evidence-based programming and treatment options to ensure that each patient receives care that is comprehensive and age-appropriate.

Within our new, state-of-the-art inpatient building, we’re excited to feature a cutting-edge neuromodulation suite, which offers electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS) at both the inpatient and outpatient levels of care.

Electroconvulsive Therapy Overview

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective procedure that is most commonly used for patients who are struggling with depression. Though most often used to treat severe depression that hasn’t responded to medications, ECT can also be used in some cases of treatment-resistant bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more.

Research shows an 80% improvement rate for patients who have major depressive disorder who participate in ECT. The effectiveness of ECT on depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health conditions is supported by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

ECT is performed under general anesthesia and involves the use of small electric currents that produce a brief seizure. Patients are asleep during the process, which lasts for just a few minutes, and are closely monitored by our staff of experts during and after the procedure. You’ll be able to relax in our recovery suite for an additional 20-25 minutes after ECT, ensuring that your heart rate and breathing patterns return to normal.

Patients typically receive ECT treatment two to three times a week for a few weeks.

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Overview

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS) is a procedure that creates magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This is used to help patients who are struggling with major depressive disorder, often leading to higher response and remission rates than among those who do not undergo DTMS.

Unlike ECT, DTMS does not require anesthesia. Patients are awake and alert throughout the procedure.

Traditional TMS therapy typically takes about 40 minutes per session, and patients may participate in the program for approximately six weeks. At Belmont Behavioral Health System, we feature a Brainsway DTMS treatment program. This type of treatment only lasts for 20 minutes, and patients often spend as little as four weeks participating in the procedure.

During the DTMS process, patients can engage with our staff of professionals, asking questions or simply participating in conversation. We also offer televisions that allow patients to watch a series of positive images on the screen, providing additional comfort and relaxation.

Who We Treat

We primarily treat adults age 18 and older in our neuromodulation suite, though we also treat select child and adolescent patients in certain cases after careful discussion, consideration, and collaboration with their referring psychologist, our physicians, and our division chief of child and adolescent services.

Patients in our inpatient and outpatient programs may participate in ECT and DTMS. Whether you’re receiving care on an inpatient or outpatient basis, you’ll work with a highly trained and motivated team that may include board-certified physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and more.

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