Outpatient Treatment

Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment for severe symptoms of mental illness. In many cases, ECT is effective in treating patients who are medication resistant, chronically depressed, or experiencing symptoms, such as delusions and suicidal thoughts.

What to expect

ECT 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.

Before Treatment

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.

During 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.

After Treatment

Some common side effects after an ECT treatment include:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Jaw tightness
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nausea (upset stomach)

Treatment Course

ECT is given as a series of treatments. 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.

Scheduling ECT

ECT services are available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. A typical course of treatment would be given three times a week in inpatient care. As an outpatient service, the number of treatments is less frequent.

If you are scheduling ECT treatment as an outpatient service, be sure to arrange for transportation to and from the facility.

ECT is administered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Columbus Springs East.

Referral Process

Physicians who wish to refer a patient for ECT should call (614) 300-9192 and ask for the ECT coordinator.

You can also download a referral form here

Getting Started

For more information about ECT, please contact us at (614) 300-9192.