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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

What to expect

Check in through North Admission Entrance 15 minutes before your test is scheduled to begin. The test takes approximately 2 hours to complete, requiring you to either sit in a chair or lie on a bed. After explaining the procedure, the Technologist measurea your head and marks the scalp with a skin marker. The Technologist applies skin prep to areas on your scalp and rubs lightly with a cotton swab. This prevents the natural oils in your hair from interfering with the recording. Several small metal disc electrodes with wires are placed on your scalp. These are kept in place with a waxy paste. You need to wash your hair after the test remove the paste and markings from your scalp. You are asked to perform simple activities during your test, such as opening and closing your eyes several times and deep breathing exercises.

To enhance your EEG the following will occur:

  • You are asked to open and close your eyes several times.
  • You are asked to stick your tongue in and out of your mouth several times.
  • You are asked to do deep breathing exercises.
  • A bright light flashs in your face while your eyes are closed.
  • The technologist may allow you to sleep for a brief period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this test hurt?
No. Small children might find the procedure irritating, but it does not hurt.

Will you cut my hair?
No. Your hair will be sectioned/parted and the metal disc electrodes are placed on your scalp with paste.

Will I receive an electric shock?
No. The metal discs record electrical waves coming from the brain, but you do not feel this.

How will I feel after the test?
Most likely you will feel no different after testing.


  • Bring a complete list of your medications. Inform your nurse or physician of allergies to medications or latex products.
  • Allow 2 hours for your time at the hospital.
  • Make sure your hair is clean and free of hairspray, mousses and gels.
  • If your physician tells you to limit your sleep the night before, reduce the amount of sleep to roughly half of what you are used to.
  • NO CAFFEINE PRODUCTS (coffee, tea, pop or chocolate) 8 HOURS BEFORE THE TEST.
  • You may eat a regular diet, excluding caffeine products.
  • Take your medications unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

Post Test

  • You may return to your normal diet and activity.
  • Most people feel fine to drive themselves home, but you may want to have a back-up plan for a driver if you should have a positive response to this test and not feel well.
  • A neurologist interprets the EEG recording and the results are sent to the ordering physician.
  • A pediatric neurologist in Omaha interprets all pediatric studies.

Thank you for choosing Mary Lanning Healthcare for your medical needs. We appreciate your loyalty and confidence in our services. If you have any questions, please contact your physician or call us at 402-461-5292.