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So You're About to Get a Lumbar Puncture...

 

What is a Lumbar Puncture?

 

A lumbar puncture (LP) is a procedure where the doctor takes a small sample of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to test for cancer cells or infections in your body. The doctor will take the sample from your lower back while you are asleep.

 

 

Why is a lumbar puncture important?

 

The doctors need to find out what is making you feel sick and the answer may be in your cerebral spinal fluid.

 

 

What happens during a lumbar puncture?

 

  • You will have to go to a place in the hospital called PACU, this is located in the Kimmell building. A transporter from there will come to your room and bring you there in a wheelchair or on a bed.

  • Once you get to PACU you will have your own bed and place where your parents can sit right next to you.

  • The nurses will ask you to lay on the bed and they will give you a special medicine to make you fall asleep. This medicine will keep you asleep for the whole procedure. You will not feel or remember anything.

  • When you are asleep the doctor will take the sample of your CSF from your lower back while you are asleep.

  • After one hour you will wake up with a small bandaid on your back where the doctor took the sample.

 

 

What is your job during the lumbar puncture?

 

Your job is to follow the doctors and nurses instructions before the procedure. You will be asleep during the procedure so you will not need to do anything else. Remember your parents can be there the whole time.

 

 

What helps during a lumbar puncture?

 

  • Bring something to do while you wait to go to sleep.

  • While you are falling asleep you can think of your favorite place and take deep breaths.

  • If you feel sore after, remember to tell your nurse so she can help you.