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 Lumbar Puncture - how painful

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bonbon
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PostSubject: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Thu May 31, 2012 6:47 pm

I am due to have a LP in 2 weeks time and have told family and friends - they have scared me saying its soooo painful .

Please can you tell me what yours was like and pain scale - Help scared now

Thanks
Bonnie
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medmisfit
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Thu May 31, 2012 7:45 pm

Bonnie, I'm so sorry they're scaring you w/ horror stories! I've had probably a dozen LP's at this point and only a couple of bad experiences. LP isn't pleasant, but I would say more uncomfortable than painful. If done properly, it's like an intense pressure..someone leaning into your lower spine. I usually don't feel much pain after that initial poke of numbing stuff..I'm sure you've been stuck w/ a needle at this point, so you should be ok. If they do it by fluroscopy, which is guided by x-ray so they can see where the needle is going, it's even better! You can request they do it that way, but it needs to be scheduled in advance.

If it's a teaching hospital, I always request no students or residents when I get there..my worst taps were always done by someone that didn't know what to do. Depending on your size and other factors you'll either lay on your side or stomach. If you lay on your side, you'll have to pull your knees up to your chest. If you're on your stomach, make sure they lay you on pillows so your spine curves up. It can be difficult in a cold sterile room, but try to keep back muscles relaxed and remember to breathe. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids before and after to aid w/ healing and fluid flow.

You'll have to take it easy for 24hrs, but most of the time I felt better..IIH symptoms should alleviate when they drain off fluid. You may be sore and have some discomfort, but shouldn't be more than cramps. If you start getting headaches when you stand, try drinking something w/ a lot of caffiene. If it continues for more than a day or so, then follow up w/ your doctor because you may need a blood patch to stop the fluid from leaking. You can use hot/cold packs, and the hospital should give you aftercare instructions.

That's all I can remember right now, but I hope it helps w/ some of your concerns. Honestly, I think every person and every tap is different, so it's difficult to rate..I've had really good ones and went out to dinner after or really bad and had to lay flat for 10 days. Staying calm and relaxed helps..your doctor can prescribe something for anxiety, if necessary. Above all..do NOT watch any of those videos online. It looks absolutely horrifying and you'll just freak yourself out even more..lol. Heidi has good info on LP's in "IIH Procedures" section..it's the first entry, if you're looking for more.

Take care & Good luck!!!
Julie


Last edited by medmisfit on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bonbon
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Thu May 31, 2012 9:24 pm

Thank you Julie you have made me feel so much better.....

Bonnie
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VDubs
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:20 am

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Hope a video helps

night xx


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medmisfit
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:55 pm

No problem Bonnie..I'm glad it helped!
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:06 am

Bonnie,

When I had my LP it was guided and it wasnt painful per say. It felt a little weird but not "painful" ... The key is to lay on your back for 24 hours to reduce the risk of a low pressure headache which is worse than the high pressure. That is what I did, I came home and went right to bed - only getting up to use the bathroom and eat as quick as I could and then back to bed....

It's really more scarey to think about - beleive me I had myself scared silly and when it was all over I thought -- "wow, I made that out to be more than it was lol". Everyone is different and I am sure there are others who have not had a good experience but my Dr. made it very clear that I was to be on my back to 24 hours after the LP and I dont know if it was because I listened that all went well or not but I am betting it had something to do with it!

Keep us posted hug
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lizzie793
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:55 pm

I would agree with godrosebud. It was not painful but was an uncomfortable weird sensation. Everyone is different and what one person finds painful another one won't. I was told to lie flat for 5 hours afterwards and then they lifted me up very slowly to make sure I was ok. I was also told to drink coffee to combat any low pressure headaches which at the time I found quite funny as my husband was giving me cups of coffee through a straw as I couldn't sit up. For me the difference in my vision was almost instant. For me personally I found the MRI scan I had more traumatic than the actual Lumbar puncture but as I said everyone is different.
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:31 pm

I've had 5 LP's so far and were fluorscopy guided. I agree with the wierd sensation but there's also pressure too but not any sharp pain. All of the ones I've had went smoothly but one. The tech showed up late, was in a rush and didn't listen to my requests. My lesson in this is if anything makes you uncomfortable about the procedure, reschedule it and leave. I kept saying I should just reschedule over and over, as 15 minutes when by and he wasn't there. Then 25, then 40 minutes. He came 45 minutes late. Then told him what my first doctor told me when getting it (which was actually a doctor, not a tech): to use the smallest caliber needle. It takes longer to drain fluid but the hole is smaller and I have trouble healing after and have leaking. (Worse than the LP itself!). He said no, he'd just use the needle he chose and then prep a blood patch right away and put it in before leaving. Needless to say, I had complications on the table and at home. So, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it!

Otherwise, as long as you recover as directed by your medical staff, you should be good to go Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:59 pm

I agree with Julie, having the lp guided by xray is the way to go. Less of a chance of a "miss" that way.
My lp's were all the same, a little pinch, a bit of a boink if they started to go the wrong way, but generally no big deal. I had to lay flat for one to two hours after the procedure in the recovery room, depending on how much fluid was drawn off. I didn't do a lot that day or the day after (no lifting) but didn't stay in bed either.
No low pressure symptoms for me.
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Boxer601
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:48 am

I had mine done first time sitting up at a hospital ambulatory care had to stay 2 hours and flat on my back for 24hours. Never got the headache from it thankfully. Relieved my headache and dizziness for about 12 hours. 2nd LP was done at Mayo clinic on my side in office and was on my side only 30 min after it. Headache again was gone for a bit. Hope yours goes well as everyone is different as you can see.
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Wylee
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PostSubject: Re: Lumbar Puncture - how painful   Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:29 pm

Bonnie, how did it go? What was your opening pressure? What have the docs said? I do hope you have good news to report.
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