Having a Lumbar Puncture
A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be used to help diagnose certain problems in your brain or spinal cord. Prepare for your test as instructed. From start to finish, your procedure will take about 30–60 minutes.
During the Test
After the Test
When you're able to leave, be sure to have someone drive you home. Lie down flat in bed or take it easy, as advised by the doctor. And drink plenty of water. If you get a headache, lie down flat. You may also want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. The day after your lumbar puncture, you can remove your bandage. Your doctor will tell you when the results of your lumbar puncture are ready.
Call Your Doctor If: