Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An EEG shows the effects of trauma in the brain, certain brain infections, and oxygen impairment. EEGs can be done a few different ways at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.  Your doctor will determine which will be most useful in gathering information about your condition. 

Routine EEG

Total test time (includes preparation, test, and clean-up) is approximately 90 minutes based on physician order. 

  • Technician will place electrodes on your scalp with a special paste.
  • You can remain awake or fall asleep.
  • Technologist may ask you to take a series of deep breaths.
  • Technologist may ask you to stare briefly at a flashing bright strobe light.
  • Your test results will be released to your referring physician who will review them with you. 

Sleep-Deprived EEG

This test uses the same procedures for a routine EEG, except your physician may require you come in for the test deprived of sleep. For example, you may be asked to stay awake from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. the night prior to testing. The recording made during sleep is helpful in diagnosing certain conditions.

Ambulatory EEG 

This is a longer-term study and requires a 24 to 72 hour testing time, based on physician order. 

  • Technician will place electrodes on your scalp with a special glue-like substance and wraps your head so you can move around freely.
  • You will return home and be asked to keep a diary of events. 
  • You will then return to the neurodiagnostic department to have the electrodes removed and return the diary and equipment
  • Your results will be interpreted and sent to your referring physician, who will share them with you.