Advanced Imaging

Myelogram

A myelogram is an x-ray procedure that allows your doctor to see the spinal canal of the back to evaluate the nerve roots. The procedure is performed in the Radiology Department at Iredell Memorial by a Radiologist and is followed by a CT exam.

Before the Procedure

It is important to drink as much fluid as possible the day before your myelogram. Please do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to the procedure. Please bring any medications, in their original container, when you come for your myelogram.Your regular medicines should be taken the night before and the morning of your procedure (especially blood pressure and heart medications) as prescribed except for diabetes medicines and blood thinners. Medications taken the morning of the myelogram should be taken with a sip of water.

If you take any anticoagulants (blood thinners such as Coumadin®, heparin or Lovenox®) or anti-platelet medications (such as Plavix® and Ticlid®) these must be stopped before your myelogram. Please call your doctor for instructions on stopping these medications.

About Your Myelogram

You will be taken from the out patient surgery department to the Radiology Department. Once in Radiology, a Radiologic Technologist will assist you on getting onto the x-ray table. If you have not had recent x-rays of your back done, x-rays will be performed.

During the myelogram, you will be lying on your stomach with a cushion placed under your abdomen. The Radiologist will insert a needle into the spinal canal and inject a contrast material (dye) that will show up on x-rays and CT scans. After the dye has been injected, x-rays will be taken of your back from several angles. After the x-rays have been completed, you will be taken to CT for a CT of your spine.

After Your Myelogram

When the procedure is completed, you will be placed on a stretcher and taken to a hospital room. You will be helped to lie on your back with your head elevated at an angle of 30-35 degrees.

After you have returned to your room you will need to remain in bed and lie on your back with your head elevated for six (6) hours. You will also need to drink as much fluid as possible. These precautions help minimize the risk of developing a headache. A post myelographic headache is the most common side effect to a myelogram, occurring in approximately one in five cases. You will be discharged from the hospital six hours after your procedure if you do not develop a headache.