Myelogram

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Myelogram, also called myelography, is a procedure that uses an x-ray to examine your spinal canal. Contrast dye is used to help caregivers see your nerves, bones, or spinal cord more clearly.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

A myelogram may increase your risk for a headache, neck or back pain, nausea, or vomiting. You may have bleeding, or spinal fluid may leak from the injection site. The procedure may cause injury to a disc, nerves, or your spinal cord. The dye used during the procedure may cause an allergy, seizures, or brain problems. The dye may also damage your kidneys.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into the skin on your back. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During your procedure:

  • Depending on where your surgeon will inject the needle, you will sit or lie on an x-ray table. Your surgeon will insert a needle between the bones of your spine and into your spinal canal. He will use an x-ray with a monitor to carefully guide the needle. He will inject dye to see your nerves, bones, or spinal cord more clearly. You may feel warm after the dye is injected. The table will be tilted so the dye can move through your spinal canal.

  • You will be moved into a series of positions, and x-rays will be taken. After the procedure is done, the dye will be removed if it is made with oil. The needle will be removed, and the injection site will be covered with a bandage or surgical tape.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest for several hours. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. Tell your caregiver if you have a headache, back or neck pain, or tingling, numbness, or weakness below your waist.

  • You may be asked to drink more liquids than usual. You may need IV fluids. Liquids will help flush the contrast dye out of your body.

  • A neurologic exam will check how your pupils react to light. Caregivers may also check your memory, hand grasp, foot or leg movement, and balance.

  • You may develop a headache during the first few hours after your procedure. The headache may be mild to severe and may get worse when you sit up or stand. Your caregiver will monitor the location where the needle was inserted for possible leaking fluid. Fluid loss from your spinal column may increase your risk for a headache.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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