Is Spring TMS for Migraine Safe with Heart Stents?

Health Professional

Full Question:

I previously Facebook chatted with Teri about the use of the Spring TMS on a patient that has heart stents.  After calling the Montifiore Headache Center to make an appointment about possibly obtaining the device, a fellow on staff returned my call and said he spoke with the people at the Spring TMS Company and they said that heart stents would disqualify me from using it.  Any thoughts Teri and Dr. Watson? Thanks, Donna.

Full Answer:

Dear Donna;

In a safety review published in the journal Headache, Dodick et. al. wrote:

Under most circumstances, the effect of the sTMS magnetic field on metal objects is of minimal concern. However, to ensure the highest level of safety, sTMS should not be used by patients with metal or conductive materials or implants in their head, neck, or upper body, excluding the mouth, or by patients with cardiac pacemakers, VNS or other implanted neurostimulators, implanted cardioverter defibrillators, or any implanted medical device that uses a signal from the body.*

To know if your heart stents are truly a problem, a consultation with your cardiologist is in order. Cardiac stents are now made of several different materials, including some that are MRI compatible. The potential issue with the Spring TMS is also a potential with an MRI since both are magnetic. Your cardiologist could tell you if your stents preclude your use of the sTMS, or if you can safely use it. If it's safe for you, he or she could then either consult with the Montefiore or give you a letter stating that it's safe for you to use the sTMS.

Thank you, Donna, for raising this important question.

Best wishes,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert

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