My experience with a Pledget Cisternogram

We showed up at Dr B’s office at 7:50 am. He proceeded to spray my nasal cavity with lidocaine to numb up the area and then placed 4 flat tampon type pledgets, 2 on each side, into my nose. With the numbing this was very tolerable. There was a slight pain when he got near the eye muscles and fat pads that are in my sinuses from the orbital decompression. After each Pledget was installed it was tagged with the location and then taped to my cheek. After they were all don I looked like I had blue whiskers taped to my face. Glad it’s October.

I went over to the X-ray department at the hospital. Put on a wonderful hospital gown and robe and waited for my turn in the X-ray room. They place me flat on my stomach and numbed my back with injections of lidocaine. This was the most painful part of the procedure. It stung they stopped waited a few minutes with the radiologist flaunting that if I can not handle it they can stop and reschedule when they can sedate me. I stated no just go for it. I will deal with it. They used a flora scope X-ray to find the best location for the lumbar puncture. After I was numb they placed the lumbar needle surprisingly this did not hurt at all. Inserted the isotope then they tilted the table (lowering my feet) then flat agin then tilted it once more then leveled the table. Wiped m back off placed a band aid over the lumbar puncture area.

We were told to come back in 5 hours. We headed to one of my favorite beach spots with Coffe in hand and watched the high tide recede.


For the rest of our waiting time I was with tissue at hand trying to get as much of the nasal drainage as possible. This is the little gross part of the study. While you have the pledgets in, your sinuses are trying like heck to rid the pledgets by draining. At some point I noticed red tinted drainage, texted Dr. B to make sure there was no concern. He was in surgery however the or nurse texted me back stating that there should be no issue. The actual feeling of having these pledgets is like the worst head cold you have ever had type of feeling. Trying to eat and or drink with them in is a challenge. I would run out of breath drinking. Also don’t try to use mouth wash with these in I about swallowed the wash because I could not breath. Oh well.

When we arrived back for the second half of the test they removed the pledgets (this smarts) and placed them in their own vial. Removed a vial of blood for reference. There was some confusion as to whether to scan or not scan for the isotope in my spinal fluid. After calling in the head of radiology it was determined that they would be scanning my csf fluid to see if there is a leak that goes down the back of the throat and not out my nose.

I am home now happy to be able to breath once again, feeling a little like I have the flu, but know it is just the side effects of the day. Well I hope this helps someone one day to calm down and get this exam done. If I can do it anyone can.


About Just Jules

USCG Vet, wife, daughter, recently blimded in one eye from brain surgery, using my passion for 3Gun as my rehab.
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2 Responses to My experience with a Pledget Cisternogram

  1. Anonymous says:

    This was very helpful for me to know what to expect. I think that’s the worst part, no knowing. Thank You.

  2. Terri Coffey says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with this test. I have been told I am going to have one, but it’s been a week and the NS has yet to request authorization for it. 10 weeks with this leak, and I think it’s time to change doctors. We know the leak is from my inruptured Aneurysm surgery, so the location is a “no brainer” ( pun intended)!

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