Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Services
Great clinical strides have been made in the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy to treat patients who have not responded to first-line methods, or whose disorders are extremely severe. Geisinger Medical Center offers Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) on an inpatient and outpatient basis for patients with:
- Severe depression
- No improvement in condition with medication treatment (the use of oral anti-depression medication is typically the first course of treatment)
A typical course of therapy begins with a complete medical and psychiatric history, as well as a physical exam to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of ECT for the patient.
Patients who undergo the procedure are sedated and given a muscle relaxant. Under the direct guidance of a Geisinger psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist, patients receive a direct electrical current to the brain (about 25% of the voltage of cardiac resuscitation).
Treatment usually consists of eight to ten treatments, usually three times a week for a few weeks. If necessary, our specialists can develop an ECT maintenance plan, providing treatments once a week for a few weeks and then once a month for a few months.