A discogram uses X-rays and special dye injected into your spinal disks to help determine if back pain could be caused by an abnormal disk in your spine.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may decide to postpone the exam or use an alternative exam such as ultrasound to reduce the possible risk of exposing your baby to radiation.
This exam requires you to consume a contrast medium. If you have allergies or asthma, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast. Most reactions result in itchiness or hives. If you have asthma and have an allergic reaction to the contrast medium, you may experience an asthma attack. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or thyroid conditions also increase your risk of reaction to the contrast medium. Tell your technologist or doctor Immediately if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam. Our staff and physicians are prepared should any type of emergency situation occur.
Before the procedure, a nurse will place a needle in a vein in your arm. You will be given an antibiotic to prevent infection and a mild sedative through this needle. During the procedure, the nurse will be with you to check your blood pressure, pulse, breathing and oxygen level.
You will be asked to lie on your stomach. A small pillow may be placed under you to tilt you toward the side that is painful. The lower part of your back will be cleaned with a betadine solution and the radiologist will numb your skin and muscles with an injection. An X-ray machine called a fluoroscope will help determine which discs the doctor will study. He or she will then guide a small needle into the disc identified and inject a special dye.
A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.