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Lumbar Drain Placement

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

Lumbar drain placement is a procedure to place a small tube in your lower back and into your spinal column to drain or collect cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have a stiff neck or trouble thinking clearly.
  • You have a severe headache.
  • You have a seizure.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain, swelling, or warmth in the area where the needle was put into your back.
  • You have bleeding or discharge coming from the area where the needle was put into your back.
  • Your legs, feet, or other areas below your waist feel numb, tingly, or weak.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your doctor or surgeon within 1 week or as directed:

You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.