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The fluoroscopy suite uses live X-ray pictures to aid the practitioner performing certain procedures. These commonly include lumbar punctures, myelograms and video fluoroscopy swallows.
What is a myelogram?
- A lumbar puncture is performed under x-ray guidance
- Once the needle is in position, X-ray dye (Omnipaque 300) is injected into the spinal fluid
- X-ray pictures, followed by a CT scan, are used to look at the spine
How is it done?
- Usually you will be admitted to a day ward
- You will be lying on your left side, on an X-ray table
- Using X-rays, a fine needle is placed in your lower back
- A small sample of spinal fluid is taken for testing and a small amount of X-ray dye is injected into the spinal fluid
- You will then be asked to turn over in various directions
- This is to help move the dye around the curves of your spine
- X-ray pictures will be taken with you in various positions
- Finally, you will be transferred to have a CT scan.
How long does it take?
The procedure takes approximately 20-30 minutes.
What are the risks?
Half the people who have a myelogram get a headache afterwards, which can last a few days. Drinking plenty of fluids, and taking painkillers or drinks containing caffeine can help (tea, coffee, cola, etc.). Some people find their symptoms get worse for a few days. However, this should be temporary.
Dr Souhyb Masri is a Consultant Radiologist at The Walton Centre. He is involved in training current and prospective interventional neuroradiology fellows.
Dr Sacha Niven has been a Consultant Neuroradiologist at The Walton Centre since April 2003. He is also an Honorary Lecturer at The University of Liverpool.
Page last updated: 23 June 2021