Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lumbar Puncture?
Lumbar Puncture is the process of collecting a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid from the backbone of an individual. The procedure is also known as spinal tap and is done for the analysis of various infections or disease conditions like meningitis, cancers of the brain and spinal cord, multiple sclerosis, trauma or injury to the brain or other tissue, concentration of medicines, etc.
What are the indications of Lumbar Puncture?
Lumbar Puncture is indicated for the following conditions:
- Measuring or relieving the cerebrospinal pressure.
- Cerebrospinal fluid collection for disease diagnosis.
- Injection of contrast dyes for imaging and visualization of the brain and spinal cord.
What is the preparation for Lumbar Puncture?
- Discuss with the doctor about all the risks, complications, and benefits associated with Lumbar Puncture.
- Before undergoing this procedure, the patient should inform past and present medical and medication history to the doctor.
- The doctor may recommend to stop the use of blood-thinning medicines like aspirin, etc a few weeks before the procedure or suggest a suitable alternative.
What are the steps involved in Lumbar Puncture?
- A complete evaluation of the patient will be done by the doctor.
- The patient will be directed to sleep on the side and asked to bend in a way that the knees would touch the chest of the patient. The sample can be collected by the doctor in a sitting position as well; depending on the patient's condition.
- The spine is exposed in the back of the patient and the doctor will check for the widest spacing available between the L2, L3, L4, L5 lumbar vertebrae. Once the site of the injection is decided, the area of needle insertion will be sterilized with a suitable antiseptic and local anesthetic solution.
- Later, the doctor will insert the spinal needle between the vertebral space to enter the subarachnoid space. The patient might hear a slight pop as the needle enters the subarachnoid space.
- Once the needle is successfully inserted into the fluid space, the spinal fluid is withdrawn into several sterile containers and are sent for further laboratory analyses.
- The doctor may connect a manometer for some patients to measure the cerebrospinal fluid pressure- this is done to diagnose and evaluate certain disease conditions.
- As the desired amount of cerebrospinal fluid is collected, the spinal needle will be removed and the injection site will be dressed with sterile adhesive bandages.
Who can perform Lumbar Puncture [Right specialist type for Lumbar Puncture]?
A Lumbar Puncture can be performed by:
- A well-experienced physician who had performed successful Lumbar Punctures
What is the cost of Lumbar Puncture?
Cost of Lumbar Puncture depends on factors such as:
- Admission fee
- Doctor fee
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-complications that are involved
- Type of hospital
- The admission room that you opted for
- Any other lab tests or examination tests such as X-ray, ECG, etc
Minimum cost for Lumbar Puncture in Chennai starts from Rs.760
Average expenses for Lumbar Puncture in Chennai is approximately Rs.1,900
Maximum amount to be paid for Lumbar Puncture in Chennai rises up to Rs.3,325
Is Lumbar Puncture a major surgery or minor procedure?
Lumbar Puncture is considered a minor procedure as it can be is done in an outpatient setting and the patient can leave the hospital on the same day of procedure depending on the health condition of the patient.
What are the risks and complications associated with Lumbar Puncture?
The following are the risks and complications for Lumbar Puncture:
- Pain and bleeding from the puncture site
- Infection and fever
- Severe headache, vomiting, and nausea-like symptoms
How long does it take to complete Lumbar Puncture?
A Lumbar Puncture will take around 45 minutes to one hour to complete.
Is Lumbar Puncture painful?
Every procedure comes with a certain level of pain and some discomfort. You won't be experiencing pain during this process because the patient will be given anesthesia to numb the pain.
Is Lumbar Puncture permanent?
Lumbar Puncture is a diagnostic procedure and is often temporary.
Can Lumbar Puncture be detected in the future?
A Lumbar Puncture cannot be detected in the future as it is a normal diagnostic procedure and will often heal without a scar.