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.