EEG Patient Instructions


Instructions for EVERYONE getting an EEG:

  • For questions or to change appointments call the EEG Laboratory 434-924-2511.
  • Wash and dry your hair the night before your EEG. Do not use conditioners, hair creams,      sprays or gels. Hair products can make it harder for the electrodes to adhere to your scalp.
  • Please remove hair extensions, weaves and toupees before coming for the procedure.
  • You may eat, drink and take prescribed medications as usual.
  • If you have excessive coughing, sneezing or running a fever, please reschedule your      appointment.
  • If the study is for a child bring their favorite toy, blanket or animal.
  • If the child is very young and is unable to hold still for the placement of the electrodes it may be necessary to swaddle the child for the test.
  • Please do not allow sleep on the way to the laboratory.  The test is most useful if it contains drowsiness and sleep.
  • Please arrive at the EEG lab 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

If your physician instructs you to have a SLEEP DEPRIVED EEG please follow the instructions below:

  • For sleep-deprivation studies in children, please put the child to bed at the usual bedtime. Parents should awaken the child early depending on the age:
    • Under 3 years old: awaken at 4:00 am
    • 3-11 years: awaken at 2:00 am
    • 12 and older: Do not go to sleep
  • Do not use caffeine or any other stimulants to stay awake(ex. soda, coffee, tea)
  • Please do not go to sleep in the car or while waiting for the EEG.

What is an EEG?

An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a test that gives your doctor information about the brain's activity. This painless test is conducted with electrodes placed on the scalp.

How is it performed?

  1. Report to the EEG Laboratory 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
  2. Go to the bathroom before you get your study
  3. Adults and children studies are both performed lying down on a stretcher.
  4. An EEG technician prepares small spots (the size of a pencil eraser) on your head by scrubbing the areas with a cotton swab and a sensitive skin cleansing product.
  5. About 27 electrode discs the size of a pencil eraser are placed onto your head and held in place with a tacky conductive cream or they may be glued in place.
  6. Your brain waves are typically recorded for 20-40 minutes after the leads are placed.
  7. The electrodes are removed at the end of the test and you may leave.
  8. Hair will be damp after the clean-up process.(you may bring a scarf or cap with you)
  9. You may have some skin irritation after the study.
  10. You should follow-up with your referring physician for results; it may take up to 10 business days.

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