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Spinal taps (or lumbar punctures) have a negative reputation in the community. This is because the procedure is most often done under less than ideal conditions in an emergency setting for various serious conditions. The physicians at the IMSMP perform hundreds of spinal taps per year under very different circumstances. The environment is calming, the nurse and physician explain the procedure in detail, and take a great deal of time to ensure the comfort of our patient. Additionally, we always use an extremely thin, specially ordered needle. This reduces discomfort as well as the incidence of a 'post-lp headache'. In fact, the risk of experiencing this headache is 1% when performed by an IMSMP neurologist.
Here are some additional points to assist in preparing you for an LP: