what do you wear to a lumbar puncture?


I know it seems like a bit of a superficial question but I have my lumbar puncture next month and I am not sure what to wear. Its a day appointment at the hospital, should I be bringing my pajamas? or just baggy clothes?

Also i know this may differ place to place, but it is ok to bring someone with you to the appointment?

ALSO i was planning on going back to work the next day until i came on here and read about the killer headaches. would it be advisable to book days off?

Thanks guys


I wore jeans and a jumper which was fine . My husband took me and came in whilst it was being done. I never had a headache luckily.

I wore tracksuit bottoms and a t shirt. I think any loose clothing will do.

As for work it all depends on the person. I think going in the next day should be fine.

I does`nt hurt.

I wore comfortable (yes, baggy) clothes.

You will need to talk to your hospital about having someone with you - there will be no problem about someone to wait with you before the LP and afterwards, I’m sure, but your companion might be less welcome when the LP is actually being done. But I don’t know - you need to check it out with the hospital.

I was OK to go to work the next day, but I had a desk job. I would not have been keen to go to work at a physically demanding job the day after. But why not see how it goes? If you aren’t well enough to go to work the next day, then phone in sick. But if you sail through (and most people do) then you won’t have wasted a day of leave!

My experience was that the anticipation of an LP was pretty unpleasant and sweaty-palmed, but the procedure itself was completely fine. I hope that you find the same.


Thanks guys. It’s good to have this cleared up. Worrying about everything so I thought I would try strike something off the list. Glad nobody said hospital pants as they do not flatter my arse

Hi Ruth, welcome to forum.

It was a long time ago I had my LP, but I think I went along, like Scudger, in jog trousers and a t-shirt. However, they put me in one of those hospital gowns that opens at the back, so it didn’t really matter what I was wearing when I came in.

I doubt they’d let a friend be with you during the procedure, but mine was allowed in whilst I was lying flat afterwards.

Btw, the procedure was all but painless, just a bit of a scratch when they gave me the local anaesthetic.


It really does vary from hospital to hospital. When I had mine (in London) my husband was with me throughout the whole process and held my hand when the actual puncture was done. Where I have my Tysabri (in Wales) they sometimes do LPs on the same day ward - they allow partners to stay with people before and after but not during the LP itself. In my current hospital, though, the day ward is very busy and tight for space so they don’t let “civilians” round the bed for the actual LP because there just wouldn’t be space.

If you can have someone with you for the before and after process it would be a good thing I think. The whole process is quite long and boring with the lying flat time.

Here’s what I usually advise; I don’t mean to scare you but please do not try to cut corners. It’s only a small percentage who get the headache; I think anyone who has experienced one (I did not) will say there is no way you will be able to work if you do. I wrote this years ago and medical procedures have improved since then. Loose top and jogging bottoms ideal; no bra.


The actual procedure is not painful; in fact the only thing you feel is a scratch when the anaesthetic goes in. The actual removal of fluid is just a feeling of pressure if done properly. I must stress if done properly; do not let anyone practice on you insist on someone who is experienced.

It’s after you MAY get something called ‘the headache from hell.’ To cut down the chances of getting this you should lay flat for at least 3 hours do not even get up to go to the loo; use a pan. Drink at least 2 litres of classic Coke, not diet; it’s the caffeine that aids replenishment of your CNS fluid. Being your drinking a lot take one of those bendy straws otherwise the bed will get more Coke than you. If you want a change of drink very strong coffee.

These things will drastically reduce your chances of getting a headache that could last about 8 days. If you have a couple of days off work and rest if you do not get the headache, if you do 10 days off work.

If the headache last more than 10 days you could need a blood patch; especially if there’s a wet patch on the bed in the area of the spine after a nights sleep; this is rare.

Good luck.


I wore leggings and a floppy top, my husband came with me but i sent him out during the procedure as he would have fainted at the thought he is not good with anything medical, he sat with me after for the time i had to lay flat, i too never got a headache the only thing i did get was a bruised feeling in my back, good luck :slight_smile: