During a lumbar puncture, your child's doctor on the Interventional Radiology team at Children's National Hospital will insert a needle into the lower spine:
Your child will be placed on their side. The Interventional Radiology team at Children's National Hospital will inject local numbing medicine into the area around the spine. Using ultrasound or live X-ray (fluoroscopy) for guidance, the doctor will insert a needle into the spinal space. Once the needle is in the correct position, fluid will be removed and sent to the laboratory and/or medicine will be injected.
We will use either light sedation or a local numbing medicine depending on your child's age and medical history. This is not a painful procedure but does require your child to be very still.
Your child may feel a brief pinching sensation during needle insertion and some patients may feel mild tenderness and/or bruising around needle insertion site for a few days following the procedure.
The procedure is considered low risk. However, potential complications include:
After the procedure is complete, your child will need to lie on their back in the recovery area for one hour to minimize the chance of having a headache. Then, your child will be able to go home or return to their hospital room.
We will place a small bandage over the site. Keep the area dry for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you may remove the bandage and your child may shower or take a bath as usual.
Your child can resume normal school-going or daycare attendance and physical activity the day after the procedure.
Our pediatric interventional radiologists perform a full range of minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to both diagnose and treat disease in infants, children and adolescents. Discover more about the treatment we offer.
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Children’s National interventional radiologists perform a full range of minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to both diagnose and treat disease in infants, children, and adolescents.