Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), offered at our Columbus Springs East location, involves a series of treatments, in which a small amount of electricity is used to produce a generalized seizure in the brain. These seizures are produced under carefully controlled circumstances while you are under anesthesia. In many cases, ECT is effective in treating patients who are medication resistant, chronically depressed, or experiencing symptoms, such as delusions and suicidal thoughts.
You will need to have a health history and physical assessment to determine if you are healthy enough to have ECT. An EKG, X-ray, blood work, recent medical history, physical, and additional medical tests may be required.
What to Expect During ECT Treatment
ECT is given under general anesthesia, and performed by a treatment team including a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and nursing staff. During the procedure, a small amount of electrical current is sent to the brain. The procedure lasts about 10-15 minutes and a minimum one hour of recovery time is required, however, it may be longer in some instances.
A typical course for treatment would be given two to three times a week. The number of treatments varies from each patient. The exact number of treatments cannot be predicted ahead of time. This will depend on your psychiatric condition, how quickly or slowly you respond to the treatment, and the medical judgment of your psychiatrists.
Patients being treated for depression can begin to see improvement after 8-14 treatments. In some cases, symptoms improve more slowly and gradually. The number of treatments varies for each patient.
Side Effects of ECT
Patients may experience the following side effects after treatment:
- short-term memory loss
- jaw tightness
- muscle soreness
- nausea (upset stomach)
ECT is administered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Columbus Springs East. If you are receiving treatment on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for transportation to and from the facility.
Physicians who wish to refer a patient for ECT should call 614-300-9192 and ask for the ECT coordinator. To immediately start the referral process, please download the ECT referral sheet form and fax the completed sheet to 614-944-5417.
For more information about ECT, please contact us at 614-300-9192.