Preparation for Procedure
Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your procedure. Our physicians and technicians are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about your procedure. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for the procedure.
The EEG (Electroencephalograph) Department is on the 2nd floor of the Lee Campus of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Room 209.
We want to make your procedure as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the EEG Unit at (814) 534-9664 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. If there is no answer, please leave a message and someone will return your call.
Before Your Procedure
Your physician’s office will schedule the date and time of your appointment with Central Scheduling. You or your physician’s office will be provided any necessary instructions when the exam is scheduled.
Most of the testing done in the EEG department does not require any special preparation. If you are ordered a sleep deprived study you will not be able to sleep for up to 24 hours prior to the test. Please take all your regularly scheduled medications unless otherwise instructed by your physician. At times the physician may order additional medication to be taken prior to the testing.
If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable diseases within 2 weeks prior to your procedure, please call your ordering physician. It may be necessary to reschedule your procedure for a time when you are feeling better.
The Day of Your Procedure
Wash your hair the night before or the day of the test. Do not use hair spray, conditioner, or gels. Your hair must be clean, dry and oil free.
Do not drink any caffeine drinks, such as tea, coffee, or soda the day of the test.
Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults or other children having a procedure.
Please bring any order that your physicians office provided for you. Please bring your identification and insurance cards. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling the business office at 814-410-8470.
Please bring a list of your medicines, over-the- counter drugs, and herbal drugs. Also bring a list of allergies.
Parking is available in the garage. Please bring your parking ticket for your free garage pass.
When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Outpatient Registration desk to the Lee Campus main lobby on the first floor. You will be registered and then escorted to the EEG department waiting area. You will meet the EEG technician who will perform your test.
Healthcare professionals will be available to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.
The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, birth date, what procedure you are having done, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.
During the Procedure
The EEG technician will take you into the procedure room and have you sit upright in a recliner.
They will explain the procedure to you and what they are doing at all times. An electrode or flat metal disc about the size head of eraser will be clipped on each earlobe. An electro-cap containing all the necessary 20 electrodes will be placed on your head. Each electrode will have a conductive gel applied. The area that the electrode touches/contacts will be scratched with the end of cotton swab to provide a better conduction/contact that will result in a more accurate test. These electrodes are connected by wires to the EEG machine. Two electrodes for cardiac leads will be placed on your chest. The machine will record your brain wave electrical activity in a computer.
Once the electrodes are all attached you will be able to recline in the chair unless it is contraindicated due to your physical condition.
Types of EEG Stimulation
During your test, brain wave activity may be stimulated in several different ways:
You will be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly for a few minutes. It’s normal to feel mild dizziness or tingling while you breathe rapidly. This is called hyperventilation. Please let the technician know if you are experiencing any other problems.
A flashing light may be placed in front of your closed eyes. You may see various colors or patterns for a few moments. This is called photo stimulation.
The test usually takes 45 minutes 1 hour.
Special types of EEG
Visual evoked response (VEP)
This test evaluates the visual pathways in your brain. Please bring glasses or contact lenses with you if you wear them. Try to be well rested so you are alert during the test. Your head will be measured and specific locations marked. Then 3 electrodes will be pasted to your scalp. Each electrode is checked with a meter to make sure it is functioning correctly.
Each eye is tested separately at least twice in order to have replication of an almost identical test. A patch will be placed over one of your eyes. You will recline in a chair and the electrodes will be connected to a computer. You will stare at a video monitor with a green LED light in the center of a moving black and red checkerboard pattern. The colors in the checkerboard switch repeatedly and the computer monitors the electrical activity in your brain in response to the background changes. This test takes approximately 30 minutes.
Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER)
This test evaluates the electrical activity coming from the brain stem to evaluate auditory nerve pathways. Your head will be measured and specific locations marked. Then 4 electrodes will be pasted to your scalp. Each electrode is checked with a meter to make sure it is functioning correctly. One electrode will be pasted behind each ear on the mastoid bone. Each ear is tested separately at least twice in order to have replication of an almost identical test. You will recline in a chair and the electrodes will be connected to a computer. You are asked to remain as still as possible.
You will be asked to wear a set of headphones. A clicking sound will be delivered to the testing ear for several minutes while you may hear static in the other ear. You may not always be able to hear the clicks. The computer monitors the electrical activity in your brain in response to the noises. This test takes approximately an hour.
This test evaluates a longer period of your brain’s electrical activity to try to capture specific events. It is helpful in patients whose events occur infrequently. It can be done for 24 – 48 or 72 hours. The set up takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes. The EEG technician will attach 16 to 25 electrodes to specific areas of your head. Because they will need to be attached for a longer period of time special glue called collodion will be used. It does have a strong odor when until it dries. Your hair may cover the electrodes or you may opt to wear a bandana over your head. These electrodes are connected by wires to a small recorder that amplifies and records your brain waves. The wires can run underneath or on top of your clothing and you can wear it on your waist. Your head may get itchy from the electrodes but try not to scratch as it may appear as abnormal activity on your EEG. You will also be given a diary to record your daily activities. There is also an event push button that can be used anytime you experience any symptoms. A bystander may also push the button if you are unable to while having symptoms. Please do not take a shower or wash your hair as it will damage the machine. You will have an appointment to have the electrodes removed at the end of your test. A special solution will be used to remove the collodion glue. Once you wash your hair most of the remaining paste will be removed.
After Your Testing
After the test, the technician will assist you with removing the paste/gel from your scalp. You may return to your normal activities, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Your time in the EEG department will vary between 45 minutes to two hour depending on the procedure you are having done. The technicians are not allowed to discuss any results with you. You will be discharged immediately. Your results will be reviewed with you at your next physician’s office visit.
Thank-you for allowing us to care for you during your electroneurodiagnostic testing.