HOW TO PREPARE TO SSEP TEST
Somato-sensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) studies are either performed at the Neurology Mobile System Associates offices in 10661 SW 88 Th St, Suite 104 MIAMI, FL 33176, or in another Medical Office, appointed for your convenience - Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment - If you anticipate being late please call to reschedule at 305 2707771 - If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at the same phone number, at least 24 hours in advance.
What is an SSEP Test?
A somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) test is an evoked brain potential caused by a physical stimulus (usually a small electric pulse). Electrodes positioned over particular areas of the body send electric pulses that trigger the underlying nerve (under the skin) and the responses are received by several scalp electrodes, and observed as a waves in the computer screen. An SSEP can most commonly involve stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist, or the posterior tibial nerve at the ankle. This investigation therefore tests the pathway of the sensory nerves to the sensory areas of the brain, even though the stimuli are non normal, they are electric.
How to prepare for your SSEP test?
You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
If you have a pacemaker, you should let the person conducting the test know before you begin.
Eating a normal meal before the procedure should be fine.
Please bring a list of your medication with you. Sedatives and drugs that can make you drowsy should be avoided.
Arrive at the test on time and try to relax.
No further preparation should be necessary.
What are the risks of SSEP testing?
The SSEP testing procedure is usually painless; the electrical impulses used as the stimulus are very small. Side effects from the procedure are very rare, though there is a chance you may have some minor skin irritation from the electrodes.
Given that you are well enough, you should be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
What do I expect during a SSEP test?
The SSEP procedure itself is safe and non-invasive. You may be asked to remove your shoes and outer upper garments to allow the placement of electrodes.
Some detection electrodes will be glued to particular spots on your scalp, neck and back.
A small generator is used to create tiny electrical impulses that are used to stimulate nerves in the wrist or the ankle. While the impulses are usually not painful, they may cause your thumb or toe to twitch a little, which is normal.
In order for the test to be accurate, it is very important that you listen carefully to the person conducting the test, follow their instructions, and try to relax where possible.
Responses to the electrical stimulation are recorded through the electrodes using special equipment.
After the procedure the electrodes will be removed and you will be able to put your clothes and shoes back on.
Unless instructed otherwise, you should be able to go straight home after the procedure.
Your doctor may discuss the results of the test with you after they have been analysed; otherwise the referring doctor will.