Alternate Names for Myelogram:
Myelography for detecting a herniated disk
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam and medical history
- Ask if you are pregnant-this test is not usually done on women who are pregnant
- Discuss your medicines with you, as you may need to stop or change the dosing
- Determine if you have any allergies
- Possibly prescribe a mild sedative to help you relax
Leading up to your procedure:
- The night before, do not eat solid foods after midnight. You should continue to drink liquids.
If your doctor prescribes a sedative:
- Arrange to have someone drive you home. Also, arrange for someone to help you at home.
- Take the sedative before the exam as directed by your doctor.
There is usually no anesthesia with this procedure. Your doctor may give you a mild sedative. You may have local anesthetic to reduce the pain of the needle.Description of the Procedure
You will lie on your side or face down. Or, you may sit on the edge of a table, leaning forward. You may be given a local anesthetic injection in your back.
Your doctor will insert a needle into the space between your vertebrae. A small amount of fluid will be removed from the spinal canal. Next, the contrast will be injected through the needle. Your doctor will use an imaging procedure called fluoroscopy. This combines an x-ray unit with a camera and a screen.
To take the images, you will be positioned stomach-down on the table. A brace will be against your shoulders. The table will be tipped forward. Next, the doctor will take images of your back. You will hold your breath while the images are taken. You may be asked to turn slightly to one side and then the other.
Often, your doctor will perform a CT scan after myelography. This is to see the spread of the contrast dye.
You may be asked to stay in the exam room while the doctor looks at the images. You will be able to go home after about an hour.How Long Will It Take?
About 30-60 minutes (CT scan will take 30-60 minutes longer)How Much Will It Hurt?
You will have some pressure or pain when the needle is inserted.Post-procedure Care
- If you took a sedative, do not drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions until the sedative wears off.
- Avoid strenuous exercise (including bending over) for 1-2 days.
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.