The Lumbar Puncture is also sometimes called a spinal tap. This procedure allows the doctor to look for problems in your brain or spinal cord. A needle is used to remove and test spinal fluid from the sac that contains your spinal cord. The spinal cord runs through most of your spine, and carries messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Lumbar Puncture is done near the base of your spine. The needle enters the sac but does not touch the spinal cord. This procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes.
- You lie down on your side with your knees drawn into your chest, or you may be asked to sit bent forward with your chin down
- Your lower back will be wiped with a special cleanser and will be injected with a numbing medication
- You will have to remain still throughout the procedure
- A sterile needle will be inserted into the sac that contains the spinal fluid. You may feel some pain or pressure
- A small bandage will be placed over the puncture site
- You may be asked to lie still for a short period of time before you leave.