The Yale Lumbar Puncture Clinic allows referring physicians the ability to work-up conditions related to spinal fluid abnormalities. We provide routine testing of CSF as well as more specialized testing for demyelinating disease, neoplasms, inflammatory conditions and infections. We are also able to evaluate for raised intracranial pressure for conditions such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri) and perform therapeutic punctures for these patients. Furthermore, we provide large-volume spinal taps for the diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Patients referred for this condition undergo gait analysis before and after the lumbar puncture.
Preparing for the procedure: Please arrive 15 minutes early to your scheduled appointment to fill out required paperwork. We ask that you do not eat anything 2 hours prior to the procedure. You may take all of your prescribed medications on the day of the appointment except any anti-platelet agents (Aspirin, Plavix, Aggrenox). If you are taking Coumadin or Pradaxa please work with your physician to safely stop it before the procedure. A lumbar puncture cannot be performed if you have not safely stopped these medications.
After the Procedure: You will be asked to lie flat for 15-20 minutes after the procedure in the clinic. We ask that you secure a ride home from the clinic to minimize any activity after the procedure. You will be asked to lie flat for another 1-2 hours at home to avoid developing a headache. A LP aftercare form will be given to you before you leave which will include details on how to treat a post-LP headache and any back soreness.