Prepare for Your Myelogram
A myelogram is a valuable tool for diagnosis.
You will lie on your stomach on the fluoroscopy table (a special type of x-ray). The radiologist will cleanse your low back and inject a numbing medication. Once the needle is in the spinal canal, a contrast material called Omnipaque (x-ray/contrast dye) is injected (you may feel some pressure when the Omnipaque is injected). The needle is removed and a band-aid is applied to the area. X-ray pictures will be taken while the table is tilted in various positions. A CT (computed tomography) scan of the spine is done after the myelogram. You are encouraged to speak with the doctor who ordered your myelogram about any questions or concerns you may have.
The procedure takes approximately 1 hour. After the procedure is complete, you will return to the nursing area for approximately 2 hours of flat bed rest and observation.
- If there is any possibility that you may be pregnant, please inform your doctor and the radiology nurse.
- You can expect to be contacted by a nurse to explain preparation instructions up to 2-5 days before your appointment. Be prepared to share a list of your medications and allergies (including contrast allergies). If you take any type of blood thinners or anti-coagulants, please contact the nurse at least one week before your appointment (or as soon as you know about the appointment). Some medications can not be taken with contrast. Your medications will be assessed on an individual basis and the radiologist will determine if any of your medications need to be stopped prior to and after your procedure.
- The day before the procedure, you need to drink 8-10 glasses (64 oz) of non-caffeinated beverages (e.g. water). No alcohol for 24 hours before or 48 hours after the procedure. Drinking a large amount of liquid will help decrease the possibility of nausea, vomiting, and headaches during and after the exam along with helping to flush the contrast from your system.
- You may have a light breakfast up to 2 hours before the appointment. Do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
- You can expect to be here approximately 3 1/2 hours. While here on flat bed rest, you may have your driver sit with you. You may eat and drink during this time. We encourage you to bring a snack or bag lunch, beverages will be provided. You may want to bring a book or laptop (wireless internet is available). If you will need to take medications during the time you are here, please bring them with you. For the consideration of other patients, please do not bring children to the appointment.
- It is required that you have someone to drive you home. It is important that a responsible adult stay with you for the next 12 hours.
- After your driver takes you home, continue strict flat bed rest at home for 24 hours.
- You will receive additional written and verbal aftercare instructions before you go home.
Following the myelogram procedure, a radiologist analyzes the images and sends a report to your doctor, who will then discuss the results with you
Myelography is only available at MDC Minneapolis.
If you have questions, please ask the doctor who is ordering your exam. If you require more information about the procedure, please contact the MDC radiology nurse at 612-879-1528, Monday through Friday between 7:30am - 4:00pm.
Photo courtesy of Siemens.