Lumbar Puncture and VEP

Hi all,

Not posted for a while as not much to say but have been reading posts.

I got a call today from Addenbrooks to book me in for my LP and VEP for 27th June. 

Thankfully my ex is taking me as I don't drive. He needs to be in work for his shift that starts at 3pm and have been told I should be away by about 1pm so hopefully he will get to work on time. I hate depending on others, especially the ex, but have little choice and I am not about to mess about when it comes to my health. Plus he owes me big time for the stress he has put me through with our on-going divorce etc. Anyway, I was wondering if they will let me go as soon as the LP is done as I have read that you need to lie flat for at least an hour after. I won't have time for that afterwards because time is short on that day.

I also suffer horrendous migraine and am a little worried about it.

I don't usually drink caffeinated coffee or fizzy drinks because they can trigger migraine.

Is there anything else I can do to help myself? I also have the kids dinner to get when I get home afterwards and normal household running stuff.

I guess I could get the kids to make themselves a sandwhich just for one day. It won't harm them.

Am not worried about the LP but am worried about the after effects.

The VEP is just fashing lights and stuff, right?

Have never had these tests before.

I have a follow-up appt to see my neuro for 25th June as she said I should have had the LP and VEP done by then but I am actually having them done two days after the follow-up.

Should I re-book the follow-up for after the LP/VEP?

I have had an MRI which showed one lesion. 

I think it is more like three hours you have to lie flat after the LP. They would look very dimly at going after an hour and I would think there is no way they would agree to it, though at the end of the day they couldnt stop you just leaving. I tried to leave half an hour early, and the nurse was not happy;  in the end I got away with 10 minutes at my own insistence to rush off on a long journey necessitated by a wedding. The other problem is that before the test they will send off some blood tests to be analysed to check that there are no additional risks from things like poor clotting etc, and the LP wont be able to go ahead until these results come back, which might not be as quickly as expected. Then the Dr may not be available then or be delayed on hospital rounds for various reasons. If the scheduling wont work out then it might be better to re-arrange the appointment.

Thanks mrbobowen (I keep reading your name as mrbowen and have just had to edit my typing). I think you may be right about rescheduling the LP/VEP but I am reluctant to put it off. I just want it over with now. But, on the other hand, I also don't want to be rushing off or getting impatient with waiting around. I really need to find a calm day for this. Might give them a call tomorrow and ask a few more questions.

The woman I spoke to briefly today gave me the impression it would take very little time but that doesn't really add up -  hospital tests are rarely over and done with in minutes.

Hi midnightmoon,

I was allowed to leave after about half an hour lying flat.  I guess its different everywhere.  Why not ring the hospital and ask?

Hope it goes well for you xx

I was kept lying flat for a good couple of hours - not even allowed to raise my head to drink.  That was their procedure to miminise the severe headaches that an LP can cause.  As another poster said, they all have different procedures - I certainly have read on here about people being told the can go as soon as it's done.   I think you need to check it out with them again, so you are satisfied what the drill is where you are.  Then you can think about planning around it.  But hospital procedures take their own time, so I certainly wouldn't be wanting to try to fit in an LP on a tight timescale if you can possibly help it.  



Sorry - and yes, I think you ertainly should query the follow up appt date - if the purpose is to follow up with the test results in, there wouldn't be much to talk about otherwise.



Hi midnight moon,

My hospital only made me lie flat for one hour and I didn’t have the ‘headache from hell’ afterwards. I also did not drink any caffeine as this adversely affects my bladder and I had no problems. I think the reason my LP went so well was the fact that I had such a fantastic guy doing the LP. He was a real expert I think.

Teresa xx

I had LP done at Addenbrookes recently and they let me go less than an hour after it was done. Lady who did it said that different hospitals had different policies on this, but their policy was to let people go quickly as long as they were going to go straight home and rest there.

Thanks for the replies.

The ex has decided to take the day off work so I don't have to rush about afterwards as I explained the situation to him and said that I was thinking of reschedling the LP for a day when it is not so rushed.

My neuro said the guys at Addenbrookes are fab at doing LP's.

On Google Maps, the hospital is about 30 miles away. 


The kids dad is also going to take them out for tea so I can rest afterwards ad take it easy.

Hopefully I will be lucky and have no ill after effects...

Thirty minutes lying flat (like really flat), bed raised a bit for a cup of tea - but no other movement allowed, then a walk through the hospital to get a blood sample taken, then a 30 mile drive home.

Like anything to do with MS, we are all different, and the people doing the treatments are all different, and the hospital routines are all different.

My guess is that it is the first half hour flat and immobile that is critical - and having someone with you to talk to will take your mind off moving about.


Hello midnightmoon

Just read your question about lp and vep.

I havent had an vep but I have had an lp and i was ok to go home after lying down for just over an hour. As soon as I got home I went straight to bed and had plenty to drink! I went to work the next day but my back ached so I had the next day off and lay down and that was the worse it got!

I didn’t have the headache they warned me about, which was good. like Geoff said we are all different.

For me personally the lp was wasn’t as bad as I imaged. My gp advised me to curl up into the foetal position as tight as I could and that helped. Put it this way, if someone told me I needed either an MRI or an lp, I would have the lp again!

Good luck and best wishes and I am glad your ex is able to help you.

Hi Midnight Moon, I hope your lp went ok.  I don't know if you have looked but on this site are records of the recent MS Conference and there is mention about lps.  The consultant talking says that they used to and sometimes do still, use needles that were hollow to the end and this was problematic but they cost the NHS pennies, however there is also a needle that costs 7 pounds and the hole on the side further up the needle, essentially it doesn't pierce you so forthrighly and reduced the chance of bad headaches massively.  He was talking about it because he wanted MS sufferers to join a study that involved lps regularly.  I hope you had the more expensive needle.  Personally, I wish we were perhaps given the opportunity to offer some money so that we had a choice on this one.  Best wishes :), Lucy x

Hi and thanks for replies.

I haven't had the LP yet Seaside but Mandymoo had hers today so maybe you are getting us mixed up. Mine is erm...27th June, I think. Might be 25th but anyway it's this month. Brainache lol

I had the letter this morning and it just says to lay down flat for half an hour afterwards and to drink plenty of non-alcohol fluids afterward too,  but it didn't say what to drink. so I am guessing water is best?

Might get some caffeine tablets too.

The list of tests to be performed. according to the letter, are;

Blood Tests

VER (R?)

Lumbar Puncture.


I have had a LP and VEP. The scratch of the anaesthetist needle was worse then the LP, I am a man low pain threshold. They did LP twice as 1st missed.
Had to lie down for an hour after, again not hard I am male. This was to prevent headache, drink plenty, high caffeine is good, take painkillers before LP in case pain after.
VER test, alternating black/white squares, red dot in middle of screen. Worst thing is gell for electrodes in hair, not a prob as have skinhead, but people with long hair will get it in hair the other ting following instruction, male thing, you cannot talk during test-whoops.
Hope this gives you an insite-it ain’t bad


Thanks Mike.

Well my hair is reasonably short and shaved on one side so not too bothered about gel. Maybe I can use it to style it a  bit better. hehe

It's really the headache afterwards I am worried about but if I follow advise I hope to minimise that.