Type of Surgery

Information

Doctor Certified

Last updated: 11/24/2009

Description

Myelograms can be performed in a hospital x ray department or in an outpatient radiology facility. The patient lies face down on the x ray table. The radiologist first looks at the spine under fluoroscopy, and the images appear on a monitor screen....

This is done to find the best location to position the needle. The skin is cleaned, numbed with local anesthetic, and then the needle is inserted. Occasionally, a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid, the clear fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, may be withdrawn through the needle and sent for laboratory studies. Contrast material (dye that shows up on x rays) is then injected.

The x-ray table is tilted slowly, allowing the contrast material to reach different levels in the spinal canal. The flow is observed under fluoroscopy, and x rays are taken with the table tilted at various angles. A footrest and shoulder straps or supports keep the patient from sliding.

In many instances, a CT scan of the spine is performed immediately after a myelogram, while the contrast material is still in the spinal canal. This helps outline internal structures more clearly.

A myelogram takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes. A CT scan adds about another hour to the examination. If the procedure is done as an outpatient exam, some facilities prefer the patient to stay in a recovery area up to four hours.

Patients who are unable to lie still or cooperate with positioning should not have this examination. Severe congenital spinal abnormalities may make the examination technically difficult to carry out. Patients with a history of severe allergic reaction to contrast material (x-ray dye) should report this to their physician prior to having myelography. Medications to minimize the risk of severe reaction may be recommended before the procedure. Given the invasive nature and risks of myelograms and increased anatomic detail provided by MRI or CT, myelograms are generally not used as the first imaging test.


NEXT:
PREVIOUS:
2. Purpose

Advertisement

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus or NPH is described in this animation showing the ventricles of the brain and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. The cause is not precisely known but can caused nausea, vomiting, headache, and problems walking among other symptoms.

Related Videos

How the Body Works : Anatomy of a Nerve

An artist's representation of what nerves and nerve bundles look like at the microscopic level. It also shows how the anatomy of a nerve allows it to transmit electrical signals and communicate with other neurons (nerves).

How the Heart Works animation video

This video combines animation and real footage of the heart to demonstrate how the atrial, pulmonic, mitral, and tricuspid valves of the heart work. The coordinated opening and closing of these valves is what allows the heart to provide blood flow and pressure in one direction, toward the lungs and body.

Myocardial Infarction

In addition to showing how a myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurs, this narrated animation also shows how atherosclerosis is caused and how it can affect the coronary arteries.

PreOp® Patient Education Myomectomy Vaginal Fibroid Surgery

Uterine fibroids are a common cause of pain, abnormal bleeding and problems with fertility in women. Traditionally uterine fibroids are removed through the abdomen; however in some cases, skin incisions can be avoided if the uterine fibroids can be removed through the vagina, as discussed in this narrated animation. The removal of uterine fibroids is called a myomectomy.

Search

Other Information

Myelography is a type of radiographic examination that uses a contrast medium to detect pathology of the spinal cord, including the location of a spinal cord injury, cysts, and tumors. The procedure often involves injection of contrast medium into the cervical or lumbar spine, followed by several X-ray projections. A myelogram may help to find the cause of pain not found by an MRI or CT. Myelography has been largely replaced by the use of CT and MRI scans.

A CT is typically performed after myelographic material has been placed with fluoroscopic guidance. A CT myelogram is most useful for patients who cannot undergo MRI (eg those with pacemakers or cochlear implants) or for those in whom MRI provides limited information (eg those with extensive metal in the spine).


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myelography

Other Information

Surgery for removal is generally advised for patients with limited cancer elsewhere in the body and a single brain metastasis.


-Cedar-Sinals

Find a Qualified Specialist

Looking for a specialist?

Please enter your zip code.