Electroencephalogram

An EEG is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain. Highly sensitive computer equipment records brain activity through electrodes that are placed on the patient's scalp. We offer inpatient an outpatient routine EEG, sleep deprived EEG, outpatient anesthesia EEG, and outpatient 6 hour video EEG.

What to Expect

  • Your head is measured.
  • Electrodes are placed on you scalp with a cream-like substance.
  • You will then be asked to lie still, relaxed and comfortable.
  • During the test, you may be asked to take repeated deep and fast breathes (hyperventilation) or you may be shown a strobe light that flashes at different speeds (photic stimulation).
  • Drowsiness and sleep are encouraged.

Patient Preparation

  • Please have clean hair without any hair styling products such as oil, gel or hairspray. Also, please do not braid or weave your hair.
  • Refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or pop before the exam; milk and juice are fine.
  • Be sure to eat a good meal before the EEG.
  • Continue to take regular prescribed medication unless otherwise indicated by your physician.
  • A parent or guardian must accompany minors (under age 17).
  • The test takes approximately 90 minutes.

If a child (age 3 and under) is scheduled for an EEG, please follow the same preparations as routine EEG plus:

  • Bring a favorite video, toy, stuffed animal, bottle, pacifier and/or blanket to help calm child.
  • Do not give the child sedation while at home.
  • Schedule the child (age 3 and under) to have the test at natural naptime.
  • On the morning of the appointment wake the child two hours earlier than usual.
  • If your child is ill or has a temperature, call as soon as possible to reschedule the appointment.
  • On the way to the EEG appointment, please keep the child awake and do not allow the child to nap. We prefer the child to sleep during the EEG testing.
  • The test takes approximately two hours.

Sleep Deprived EEG Test

For a prescribed sleep deprived EEG, follow the same preparations as a routine EEG plus:

  • For adults: no sleep for 24 hours before EEG.
  • For children (age 1-3): schedule the appointment at the child's natural naptime.
  • Wake the child up two hours before natural morning wake up time.
  • Test takes 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Outpatient 6-Hour Video EEG

This test is a long term EEG recording for interpretation of seizure disorders For a prescribed 6-Hour Video EEG, follow the same preparations as a routine EEG plus:

  • Bring a companion, lunch and amusements (games, reading materials, videos, etc.)
  • Parents must stay with children throughout.
  • Test takes up to 8 hours.

Outpatient Anesthesia EEG

  • Please have clean hair without any hair styling products such as oil, gel or hairspray. Also, please do not braid or weave your hair.
  • Anesthesia prescreening will provide additional preparation necessary for this procedure.