The Southport Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

What is TMS?

Your psychiatrist has recommended that you receive treatment with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a therapeutic, medical procedure for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as major depression. TMS involves stimulation of an area of your brain using a pulsing magnet placed on your scalp. The magnet is designed to give a focused beam of magnetic energy inducing small electrical currents with the aim of altering brain function for therapeutic purposes. TMS works by changing brain electrical activity and the brain chemicals that are involved in controlling mood.

Who can be treated with TMS?

TMS is useful in treating depression, especially in patients:

  • Who may have medication resistant depression
  • Are unable or unwilling to take medication, including patients with adverse reactions to medications, or those with renal or liver impairment
  • Who would benefit from ECT, but are unable or unwilling to receive ECT treatment TMS is considered a safe treatment for most patients, and can be used alone or adjunct to medication. Due to its magnetic action, it is not recommended for people with metal implants in their head or neck region (e.g. cochlear implants, aneurysm clips or coils, shrapnel, metal plates), or those with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators.

Side effects

The highest level of discomfort felt by most patients receiving TMS is a feeling similar to a small rubber band snapping back onto the head. Patients may also experience a headache or some facial twitching after treatment, though this is usually short lived and becomes less common in following sessions.


For enquiries please contact the Southport Specialist Suites on (07) 5671 8999 or the Southport Private Hospital Mental Health Ward Nursing Unit Manager on (07) 5671 8135. TMS is covered by a range of health insurance companies for patients who are covered for psychiatric services. An out-of-pocket fee is generally paid per treatment.

For more information please download the below information sheet.