Lumbar Puncture

Your doctor has asked us to perform a lumbar puncture. This information is designed to help you prepare for your procedure. A lumbar puncture is a procedure where a needle is inserted into the spine to collect spinal fluid for analysis or less commonly to reduce pressure on the brain.
Download this Lumbar Puncture Patient Information as a PDF.


  • You will be given instructions by our booking staff regarding the time of your appointment and any necessary preparation. You are not required to fast for this procedure.
  • You will be admitted through day surgery.
  • You need to notify us and your referring doctor if you are on blood thinning medications or injections (e.g. aspirin, warfarin, coumadin, Plavix or Clexane etc.) or if you are taking fish oil or krill oil as these also increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Please shower on the morning of your procedure before coming to the hospital.


  • You will be changed into a gown and taken into an x-ray room in the radiology department.
  • You will be fully awake during the procedure but a small area of skin over your lower back will be numbed with local anaesthetic for your comfort.
  • A needle is inserted into the spine by a specialist Radiologist using x-ray images to ensure proper positioning. The needle is then removed once the spinal fluid is collected and a small dressing is applied.

Post Procedure

  • You will return to day surgery as you need to lie flat in a bed for 4 hours after the procedure. This is very important to help prevent any ongoing leakage of fluid.
  • You will need to have someone drive you home once you are discharged and you should rest forthe remainder of the day. You should avoid any strenuous activity for at least 5 days.
  • A simple pain killer such as paracetamol should be sufficient if there is any discomfort once the local anaesthetic wears off.
  • The dressing can be removed the day after the procedure


If you experience bleeding or excessive bruising/swelling, redness or other evidence of infection please contact our clinic nurses between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Outside these hours please contact your local emergency centre or referring doctor.