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Any advice prior to spinal tap?

Mine is tomorrow. I'm hoping for some diagnostic answers, although I realize that chance is pretty slim. But in either case, is there anything I need to know in advance to make the process go more smoothly?
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1453990 tn?1329231426
Hydrate now and in the AM.  Lay down as much as possible after the LP.  And caffeine after the LP is supposed to help.  
Helpful - 0
1225331 tn?1333365769
I'd suggest drinking plenty of fluids (like water) beforehand. And laying flat on your stomach afterwards for several hours.  They also suggested to me, drinking lots of caffienated beverages after the procedure.

Good luck!  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had my lumbar puncture 2 weeks ago and it wasn't nearly as frightening as it's made out to be.  And I'm a real wimp when it comes ot needles. I drank caffiene prior to the test and laid completely flat for the rest of the day.  I've heard that lying flat is important.  I had no headache and was fine the next day.  My neuro had me take 1/2 valium prior to the test. Don't know if that was necessary or not.  I was actually more bothered by the boredom of lying flat than anything else.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine.  
Helpful - 0
198419 tn?1360242356
JJ,

My only main concern for you is that blurry vision you've been dealing with. I know your frustrated w/that too. But, for the LP only, I 2nd and 3rd all of what others said ref. the water/fluids and lay much, much longer than directed by the professionals.

Leaks can and do happen days post LP. Mine came on 3 days later and I followed all the post LP do's and don'ts. So, I suggest no lifting anything, even light laundry baskets, and no steps. Veg out (flat) as long as you can. So for you that'd be at least til Monday. And, even then take it very slow.

Wishing you answers in results and a good recovery from the procedure. If you happen to get the leak you'll know it. The pain subsides by laying flat because it balances out the fluid between your brain and spinal cord. This fluid is only replenished a couple times a day and this is why the hydration is super important.

Be well and let us know how it goes.
Shell

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Avatar universal
You guys are wonderful. Thanks so much for the input. I was wondering about hydrating. I'm not the greatest with fluid intake, so will make a point to have a few extra gatorades today. They did say no solids after midnight and nothing by mouth three hours before the procedure. Nobody has given me any idea how long I will be there, but it sounds like I'll only be there for the procedure and then go home right away.

I'm a little afraid of the person who's doing it. I have no idea who it is, but several medical professionals that have mentioned the tap have stopped short of going on about it when the person who's doing it comes up. It makes me a little leery.

Shell, I had no idea to lay low for days after the test, so I'm really glad you mentioned it. I have a habit of jumping in and doing more than I should when I shouldn't and end up paying for it later. But I hate headaches, so that's a good incentive to be a baby and lie around.

So lie on the stomach, not the back? This I didn't know either. I thought it was the other way around.
Helpful - 0
667078 tn?1316000935
Oh and don't stand straight up quickly for a few days.  

Alex
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Avatar universal
I'm hoping to get lucky and the blurred vision will clear up when they do the tap. :-P
Helpful - 0
1168938 tn?1327154232
I had a Lumbar puncture earlier this year, I was told to drink as much water the night before and during the morning. It was not painful, I was telling jokes to pass the time while waiting for the fluid to drain into 7 different vials lol.
I drank plenty of water afterwards and stayed lying on my back in the hospital for an hour or so before going home. I then layed down and carried on drinking plenty of fluids...made me want to pee gallons... but sooo worth it, no headache or bad side effects.
You will be fine.
Sending positive vibes your way.
Suz
Helpful - 0
900662 tn?1469390305
Good Luck,


Try not to get yourself all worked up.

I had no problems,  mine was done at the hospital.  The Radiologist came in the room prior to the procedure and explained the process.  She (  Radiologist) really set my mine  at ease.  She spoke with  me during the whole  procedure  and once the tap was completed she said the nurse would collect the fluid, later she returned  to check on me before  they wheeled,  sorry I mean rolled me out   in the  bed.


She also told my wife the procedure was completed.   It seems like time stands still, I have to tell you  I was in the room for less than 1/2,  more prep time than anything.


I was on table that they could control the tilt,    they told me the fluid was clear,   thats a good sign,  however that just one part of test.   It took two weeks before I got the results.

The Radiologist  spoke with me and my wife before they released me to go home.
Please understand that  in some cases the tap doesn't rule in  or out M.S.

take care
John
Helpful - 0
751951 tn?1406632863
Yes, drink copious gallons of liquid beforehand; I think water is actually the best thing for you, but Gatorade's probably a close 2nd (IMHO).  I had a large English Toffee cappuccino on my way to the neurologist's.  I am usually a heavy water drinker anyway.

His NP did the tap while my wife watched.  The office told me a week or two beforehand that she does several of them a week with no problems, ever, and suggested that the radiology department at the nearby teaching hospital gets a lot less experience with LP's.

I laid back in the mostly-reclined passenger seat of the car for the hour+ drive home, and probably spent the afternoon on the couch or reclining loveseat; I don't really remember.  No problems at all for me.

Worst part is as John said: It's still said to be somewhat inconclusive either way, just maybe a touch more evidence on one side or the other of the balance scales.  It could be as useful for confirming or eliminating some mimics, I think, but I don't remember which ones.  Hopefully someone else will, and either fill in the blanks or correct me.  My neuro felt we knew no more or less when we were done than before the test.  Some of us, though, have had some extraordinary numbers of unique CSF O-bands; I understand that's a strong indicator.

Prayers have preceded you.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the prayers, PastorDan. I'm not expecting to see anything MS related show up. If it does it will be a surprise. But I'm hoping they get the info they need to start a treatment process going of some kind. My vision is clearing up now, and fever going back down. It's like taking a noisy car to the mechanic. It seems every time I have a test, this thing disappears mysteriously.

I just have one question. What does the caffeine do that's supposed to help with the after effects of the LP?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
PS. I tend to stay away from caffeine because it makes my tremors worse, among other things.
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1168718 tn?1464983535
Hi,Caffeine did help me ALOT .......... I also took some Tylenol before I went about 45 minutes before the procedure.... and made sure that someone was there to drive after it was done.  But, I had 3 cups of coffee afterwards, and I got NO HEADACHE ... so, I felt extremely lucky.  

Make sure too that you stay calmer for the rest of your day, and put your feet up and rest.  

That is the best that I can give you, and take all the other advice too, and you will do fine.



Good luck,
Candy
Helpful - 0
751951 tn?1406632863
I can't explain the technical details, but I know that caffeine is a key ingredient in some OTC headache medicines.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Vasoconstriction maybe? Just a thought. I have no clue, but if I feel a HA coming on, I'll make a pot of coffee. Or sip on some green jasmine tea. Even better. :-)
Helpful - 0
572651 tn?1530999357
you got great advice - just remember 1 out of 7 people have problems post-LP and that leaves 6 out of 7 with no problems.  Good luck tomorrow, Lulu
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1532707 tn?1312155924
When I went to the ER three days after my LP (solu medrol related not LP related) the doctor their said I should have drank caffiene BEFORE because it stimulates the csf production.
If you want sedation make sure they give you something besides just a local, My doctor ordered sedation and all they gave me was a local but I was tense on edge the whole time even thought I was trying to relax. It's hard not to tense up when you have pain shooting down your legs and it feels like someone is stabbing you in the butt. I hope that was just me.
They told me to fast and then all they gave me was a local which doesn't make sense to require fasting. I think my nurse was an idiot. If they don't tell you to fast then I would take advil or tylenol before the procedure.
Stand up for your rights, I thought I was in good hands but apparently I had an evil nurse.
Helpful - 0
1532707 tn?1312155924
One other thing, If the first stick isn't good make sure they use a new needle, I don't care if they have to open a whole new tray. A sharp needle is worth it every penny. Mine wasn't too bad til they stuck me with a dull needle, it pissed my nerves off bit time that's when the siatic nerve like pain went crazy.
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Avatar universal
Hi Jumpinjiminy.  

I'm a long-time lurker and though I've been tempted in the past, I've never actually become a member and contributed to a conversation.  Well, no more!  I've finally got something worthwhile to add.

My suggestion is that you have someone pick up a copy of the classic rock mockumentary Spinal Tap and then after your procedure, you can amuse yourself and call it a theme day.  I did this after my spinal tap a couple of years ago and it added a bit of levity to an otherwise anxiety provoking day.  Good Luck!

P.S. Try not to worry...it's really not bad at all.
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Avatar universal
Lol. Thanks, Traveler. Maybe Netflix will have it. I don't want any 11's today.
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1423392 tn?1286590390
I wish  you luck today as well I too will be having another spinal tap today....it's not to bad I had one in August ..I think  the waiting is the worst part...hoping you will get answers...
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198419 tn?1360242356
Well lookie there, JumpinJ, your post brought out a lurker!
Good luck today!

And, welcome Traveler14!!!!!!!

-shell
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Avatar universal
I'm back now. So far no headache. There was no opening pressure and no fluid came out so he started poking around to see if he had the spot. I hope yours goes better, HOAB.

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