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Frequently Asked Questions

Reconnect with yourself

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions. 

General TMS treatment questions

TMS has been used as a treatment since1985 and there is very large global experience with TMS.  Adverse events are very rare and there are no known long-term side effects. 

Some patients feel fatigued on their treatment days or experience slight discomfort (not pain) due to the twitching of their chewing muscles on the sides of their head during stimulation stimulation. 

The most serious known side effect of TMS is the extremely rare possibility of a seizure- (less than 1 in 80,000) and with modern equipment and protocols the risk is mitigated further.

TMS is used as a treatment option in mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD and PTSD. 

TMS is also used to treat addictions such as nicotine and cocaine. 

TMS is also used to treat neurological conditions such as weakness on one side of the body or a speech problem as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury or a brain tumour.   

Lastly, TMS can be used for the treatment of chronic pain and chronic tinnitus. 

If you would like to enquire whether TMS can assist in treating your condition please feel free to contact us.

The treatment process with Connectomix commences with a specialised MRI scan - this takes less than 30 minutes and no drip is required.

Using artificial intelligence, your MRI is processed to create a unique personalised map of your brain connections.

Following consultation with one of our specialised clinicians, specific targets for brain stimulation are selected based on your personalised brain map and your specific symptoms/clinical condition.

Once your personalised TMS treatment is planned, you will be booked for a sequence of 20-30 TMS treatments that are administered over four or five consecutive days.

If you would like to enquire whether TMS can assist in treating your condition please feel free to contact us.

Summarising your treatment:

  1. 30min MRI
  2. AI Personalised Brain Map Processing
  3. Personalised targets selected for you 
  4. 20-30 non-invasive TMS treatments done in our clinic over 4 consecutive days
  5. Treatment complete!
 

There are few contraindications to TMS (reasons not to have TMS). 

Our trained clinicians consult with all patients to ensure safety.

TMS should not be performed on anyone with a magnetic-sensitive implant in their head or if the magnetic coil is within 30cm of a magnetic sensitive implant.

Magnetic sensitive objects that could place you at risk are:

  • Aneurysm Clip or Coils
  • Cochlear Implant
  • Deep Brain Stimulation Electrode or any other implanted brain electrode
  • Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) Shunt
  • Stents in your neck or brain
  • Metal in your head (outside the mouth) such as shrapnel, surgical clips, coils or fragments from welding or metalwork
  • Cardiac Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
  • Cardiac Stents
  • Metallic implant in your eyes
  • Intracardiac Line
  • Medical Pump
  • Facial tattoos with metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink
  • Any metallic device or object that is implanted on or around your head or neck

The risk of exposure to TMS during pregnancy is unknown. As such, we advise that you do not receive TMS treatment during pregnancy. If you are of childbearing capacity and suspect you may be pregnant we advise that you undertake a pregnancy test prior to TMS treatment. Should you be pregnant we advise that you inform your referring physician and reschedule your treatment until after pregnancy.

 

TMS is an outpatient procedure.  You do not have to be hospitalised to receive TMS treatment.

It is done in the comfort of our clinics. You are seated in a comfortable chair whilst the treatment is done.

Treatment sessions are intervalled and last between 5 - 10 minutes.

Typically, treatments are repeated 5 to 6 times a day, depending on patients requirements.  You are free to continue on with your day as usual after the treatment is complete.

No - TMS is an outpatient procedure. 

Treatments are done in our clinic treatment rooms. Patients are seated in a comfortable chair for the duration of the treatment. 

Deciding to undertake any new treatment can be stressful.  

If you are unsure if personalised TMS is right for you, we encourage you to visit one of our clinics so that our experienced professionals can address your questions.

Please call us so that we can pre-arrange a suitable visiting time. 

Visit our Contact Us page to arrange a viewing.

 

Pre TMS treatment questions

There are no food restrictions with TMS.  Feel free to eat anything that you would like.

As you will be at our premises for approximately 4 to 5 hours we suggest you wear something comfortable.  

However, the final decision is yours.  It is best if you do not wear earrings or necklaces during the treatment as they may have magnetic properties.  Best to leave your jewelry at home.

Currently TMS is not covered by any health insurance companies in South Africa

We are hoping this will change in the near future as we are engaging the relevant authorities.

During TMS treatment questions

Life is busy and we appreciate this.  Our hyper-accelerated protocol, which is based on solid research, aims to reduce the amount of days you need to come to our clinic.  

Once your personalised TMS treatment is planned, you will be booked for your TMS treatments that are administered over 4 or 5 consecutive days.  

On each day, you will receive 5 to 6 treatments – usually targeting several different brain areas. 

Each treatment lasts approximately 5 to 10 minutes and treatments are separated by a rest period of approximately one hour.  

You will feel a tapping sensation over the area of treatment. 

Depending on the exact area of treatment, you may also experience subtle contraction over your chewing muscles (temporalis). This stops as soon as the treatment is stopped. 

You will not need to do anything specific in relation to preparing for the treatment.  

As you will be at our premises for several hours, we suggest you bring a book or your computer/tablet such that you can keep occupied during the rest periods between treatments.  

Our premises have been designed with comfort in mind and we provide Wifi.

TMS has been employed as a treatment for many decades.  

It is a well-tolerated treatment with few patients experiencing side-effects. As with any medical treatment, TMS can have potential side-effect.

Most common side effects include, but not limited to;

  • Facial twitching.
  • Mild headaches.
  • Muscle twitching - You may experience uncomfortable or painful muscle twitching at the site of stimulation during TMS. Should this occur inform the Connectomix technician so that the treatment parameters can be adjusted in order to make the treatment more comfortable.
  • Tingling sensation.
  • Lightheadedness or mild headaches - Headaches or light-headedness are also reported post treatment – these symptoms are usually short lived and respond to simple pain killers. 
  • Some sleepiness.
  • Seizure - The most serious known side effect of TMS is a seizure. The risk is extremely small with modern equipment, nonetheless it is possible. Should you have a history of seizures you must alert your referring specialist and the Connectomix technician. Should a seizure arise, the Connectomix technicians have been trained to manage this situation.
  • For patients with pre-existing bipolar disorder, there is a small risk of the emergence of mania following TMS therapy. Should you experience symptoms of mania, alert your referring physician immediately. 
  • Side effects are short term and do not pose long term threats to patient health.

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