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MetroWest Medical Center is committed to offering a full spectrum of behavioral health treatments. That’s why our Leonard Morse Hospital location in Natick offers electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) services for our patients who suffer from extreme depression or psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. Our staff have found that ECT can offer relief to those rare patients who don’t respond to other forms of treatment.

What Is ECT:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a painless electrical stimulation that induces a seizure.  The patient is under general anesthesia and the whole procedure from anesthesia induction to recovery takes no more than 30 minutes. 
  • ECT is often a preferable treatment over medications, especially when the patient has a history of side effects from medications or is not responsive to medications.
  • There is evidence that the seizure changes the brains chemistry; same as medications
  • ECT can often reverse depressive symptoms quickly
  • ECT can be used in conjunction with medications and psychotherapy
  • Acute treatment is usually eight to twelve treatments  but is individualized to the needs of each patient
  • Maintenance ECT is used for some patients and may be given once weekly, bi-weekely or monthly

Side Effects:

  • Patients may experience short term memory loss or mild confusion after treatment which is usually temporary
  • Other side effect include nausea, headaches or jaw pain which is usually resolved with Tylenol

Preparing for ECT:

  • Patients will have medical clearance which includes a physical examination prior to the procedure

    If you have questions or concerns about our ECT services, or you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us or call (508) 650-7380.

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