standard-title Lumbar Puncture
A Lumbar Puncture (also called a spinal tap) is a procedure to collect the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The samples that are collected are studied for color, blood cell counts, protein, glucose, and other substances. Some of the samples are put into culture cups to determine if there is an infection. The pressure of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) may also be measured during the procedure.
Preparing for your lumbar puncture:
- A representative will contact you prior to your appointment to review your medications and complete registration.
- Be sure to ask your doctor if you are taking blood thinners (Aspirin, Lovenox, Plavix, Heparin, or Coumadin). You may be asked to stop taking this medication 5 days prior to your procedure. You may resume this medication the day after your procedure.
- You will need to arrange for a driver to take you home.
- Nothing to eat or drink 2 hours before your procedure time.
- You may experience some soreness at your injection site for up to 24 hours. This can be managed with over the counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Cold ice packs 3-4 times daily for several days are also effective. You may take your own pain medication as needed if it is already prescribed by your referring physician.
- You can return to light activity the day of your procedure and avoid strenuous activity or physical therapy for the next 3 days.
If you develop fever or severe pain contact our office at 352-333-7847(7VIP) or call your referring physician. After hours or on weekends, go to the nearest emergency room or call North Florida Regional Medical Center at 352-333-4000 and ask for the Radiologist on call.