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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

What is TMS?

Essendon Private Clinic offers a non-invasive treatment for depression called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

TMS is a treatment for major depressive disorder that is otherwise resistant to antidepressant medication. It is a means of non-invasively stimulating the cerebral cortex.

TMS is a procedure that involves the focused application of an electromagnetic apparatus to generate small electric currents to superficial regions of the cortex. These currents induce a magnetic field. The magnetic field can pass into the brain without resistance and it stimulates electrical activity in nerves below the coil, which is in superficial regions of the brain.

What happens when you have TMS?

Sessions take 7 minutes, 20 or 60 minutes, depending on what’s prescribed. A course of TMS can consist of 20-30 sessions in total.

A suitably trained practitioner determines the appropriate stimulation details prior to the first treatment. This comprises testing the right area to stimulate and decide on the dose of energy percentage to be used. For subsequent treatments, a trained health professional (usually a nurse) positions the coil on the patient’s scalp and remains in the room throughout the procedure.

During a TMS session the patient is awake, alert and aware of what is happening at all times. He/she sits in a comfortable chair and can watch television, read, listen to music or even have a sleep.

Inpatient TMS Referral Process

If you are interested in having TMS, your psychiatrist can discuss with you whether this is a suitable treatment option. From there a referral can be made to the TMS team for you to be formally assessed.

Outpatient TMS Referral Process

Ask your Psychiatrist or GP to complete a referral for TMS  and fax it to the TMS Coordinator – Lidia Assaf  on fax number (03) 9337 0625 or email it to

Alternatively you can contact the TMS Coordinator directly on (03) 9331 9706.

You will then be contacted by our TMS Coordinator or one of our TMS nurses to be booked for your outpatient TMS calibration and all treatments.


This treatment is available at Essendon Private Clinic as an inpatient and also as an outpatient.

The inpatient stay generally is covered by private health insurance or by Workcover, Department of Veteran Affairs and the Transport Accident Commission.

Patients are also welcomed to self fund their admission to hospital to receive this treatment.

The outpatient treatment is covered by some health funds. Patients may also fund their own TMS treatment as an outpatient by paying $180 per treatment.

Please refer any enquirers to our TMS Coordinator Lidia Assaf on (03)  9331 9706.