Electroconvulsive therapy treatment in Brandon, Florida

At Brandon Regional Hospital, we make sure our patients have access to all the treatment options they need to cope with their behavioral health symptoms. Symptoms of mental health conditions can vary in severity and treatment options are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Patients at our Brandon, FL hospital have access to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for the treatment of certain mental health symptoms, such as acute mania, severe depression and mood disorders.

For a physician referral to our behavioral health program, please call our 24-hour help line at (844) 423-4283.

When ECT can be used

ECT is a proven, safe and effective treatment option for patients with severe mental health symptoms. ECT is not used in all circumstances but may be implemented when:

  • Previous use of ECT has been effective
  • Alternative treatment options have been ineffective—such as an inability to tolerate the side effects of medication
  • A rapid response is needed

Many patients receiving behavioral health care at Brandon Regional Hospital who undergo ECT see improvement in their symptoms within two to three weeks of treatment. A series of ECT treatments usually consists of six to 12 treatments that can be administered on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

How ECT treatment works

Before ECT begins, your physician will fully explain the benefits and risks associated with treatment, and you will provide your consent. We encourage you to ask questions and make sure you know that your consent for treatment can be withdrawn at any time, and we will stop treatment. After consent is received, you will receive a complete physical examination, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood tests.

To begin treatment, an intravenous (IV) drip is placed, which administers medications to induce sleep and relax your muscles. Once the medication has taken effect, an electrical stimulus will be administered through electrodes placed on the head. The stimulus produces changes in the brain waves that are similar to a generalized seizure. It is believed that the induced seizure activity is what leads to the clinical improvement in mental health symptoms.

You will wake up about 30 minutes after the completion of treatment and soon will become re-oriented enough to eat and return home or back to the inpatient behavioral health unit.

ECT follow-up care

An ECT treatment is intended to be followed by additional ECT sessions or medication therapy. ECT is known to be a very effective treatment. However, if follow-up ECT or medications are not administered, there is a higher probability of symptom relapse within six months.

Side effects of ECT

ECT is a safe procedure, but it does have some common side effects, such as:

  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Headache
  • Muscle soreness
  • Nausea
  • Short-term difficulty learning and/or remembering new information