Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Patients should be well-hydrated at the time they are undergoing a myelogram. Increasing fluids the day before the study is usually recommended. All food and fluid intake should be stopped approximately four hours before the procedure.
medications may need to be stopped for one to two days before myelography is performed. These include some antipsychotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, and diabetic medications. Patients should discuss this with their physician or the staff at the facility where the study is to be done.
Patients who smoke may be asked to stop the day before the test. This helps decrease the chance of nausea or headaches after the myelogram. Immediately before the examination, patients should empty their bowels and bladder.
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.
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).
For a neurosurgery, as for any other surgery, it's important to always bring x-rays and any other medical records the patients has.
-Dr Catherine McAuley
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