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What is Video EEG Monitoring?

An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is an examination of the brainwave patterns used primarily for diagnosis of seizures disorders. If your physician is now ordering a Video EEG examination you probably have had either a routine or ambulatory EEG already. During this procedure, the EEG is recorded for a prolonged period, accompanied by continuous closed-circuit video observation. The digitized EEG and video simultaneously records behavior and brainwaves to compare and correlate these behavioral events with any accompanying electrographic changes, this may allow for a determination of the cause of the seizures.

Seizures are a disorder of the brain caused by abnormal electrical activity. Video EEG monitoring enables your doctor to observe your seizures and the EEG at the same time. Video monitoring can help diagnose your seizure type and provides important information regarding the best treatment for your seizures. Video monitoring is also used in the evaluation for epilepsy.

Electrode Application

EEG wires will be attached to your head with combination of different types of paste that will wash out with regular shampoo and in some cases special glue will be used to attach some of the electrodes for the study. Sometimes the electrodes can cause some itching, but try not to scratch your head. The technologist will wrap your head in light- weight gauze after attaching the electrodes to further secure the wires. Wash and dry your hair the night before the examination and avoid using any hair products in your hair. Remove any braids or hair extensions, this will facilitate comfortable placement of the electrodes.

The Sleep Center Room

You will be admitted to a comfortable, private room in our sleep center. A video camera with audio and an intercom system will allow for communicate between you and your technologist during the examination. You will be able to use the bathroom in privacy. Every effort is made to make your stay as pleasant and as comfortable as possible. However, this procedure is to help you get better and obtain the best chance at diagnosing your spells or seizures. Keep in mind that at best it can be a boring and tedious process but we would like to be able see an episode during your stay. When you are at high risk for seizures the technologist will be present nearby for your safety. They will not come into the bathroom unless there is an emergency, and you will not be video recorded while in the bathroom.

Points to Keep in Mind

Advanced notice is REQUIRED for cancellation due to the comprehensive nature of the examination. The deadline for cancellation is two FULL business days in advance of your appointment or a late cancellation fee of $250 will be assessed. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

  • The technician will contact you 2 days prior to your appointment to confirm all of the details.
  • The duration of the examination is about 10 hours and may be longer in some cases.
  • Do not change your medication routine unless specifically instructed by your physician.
  • You may bring electronic devices, books or laptop with a charger during the monitoring to keep you from getting bored or restless. You should bring your lunch. Friends and family members may bring outside food for you to eat. However, you may not eat potato chips or other crunchy snack foods or chew gum as any excess chewing will interfere with the EEG data.
  • You will not be allowed to smoke in or outside the building. Plan on NOT smoking for the duration of the examination.
  • You should bring comfortable clothing to wear while in the sleep center. Most patients wear street clothes, sweat suits, or pajamas with warm socks during the day. Remember that tops should button down the front and be loose-fitting and warm – you will not be able to use covers because this impedes the viewing of any seizures. Tight fitting sleeves and pullover tops will not be permitted.
  • A family member or caregiver may be with you or in the sleep center. In some cases, there is a day room available for caregivers during the examination.
  • Parking is available in the garage next to the building for a $11 fee (credit cards accepted). Please note that we are located several blocks from the Bethesda Metro stop.
  • Emergency Contact number for patients on the day of the test is 301-654-1500.