EEG (Electroencephalogram) - Outpatient
Your doctor has ordered an EEG for you to help find the cause of your symptoms and decide the
best treatment for you. If you have any questions, please be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.
What Is an EEG?
An EEG is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain that helps your physician diagnose a
variety of neurological problems, from common headaches and dizziness to seizure disorders,
strokes and degenerative brain disease.
It is not painful, and you should feel no ill effects from it. The test will take about an hour. If
you came to our clinic, you can leave right away after the test.
Preparing for your EEG
If you are an inpatient, an EEG technologist will perform the study at your bedside. No special
preparation needs to be taken.
If you are an outpatient
ξ Your hair MUST be clean for this test. Wash it the night before or the morning of your
test. Do not apply conditioners, gels, or sprays.
ξ You may eat and take any needed medicine before your test.
ξ If your child is having the test, bring a special toy, book, or blanket for them. This will help
keep them calm during the test. You will be asked to stay with your child during the test.
Arriving for your EEG
Again, if you are an inpatient, an EEG technologist will perform the study at your bedside.
Volunteers at the main desk can direct you. Your EEG appointment is in the EEG lab, J5/2. You
must stop and register 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Registration is on the
main floor as you make your way on ‘Main Street’ to the EEG lab in the J module. Follow
‘Main Street’ towards the J module and Registration will be on your right hand side. After
registration, continue right on ‘Main Street’ through the H elevator lobby to the J lobby. Please
check in at the EEG desk.
In the EEG lab, a technologist will place very small metal discs on your scalp using special glue.
The discs will be placed at pre-measured spots on your scalp. A gel (salt jelly) will be put on
each disc. This gel allows us to pick up your brain waves.
Once the test begins, it is vital that you relax and sit or lay quietly. During the test, a number of
special procedures may be done. For instance, you may see a flashing light and you may be
asked to breathe deeply for a short time. At the end of the test, the technologist will remove the
metal discs and glue. He or she will explain how to remove any glue that may remain on your
scalp. If you are an inpatient, we will also give this information to your nurse.
Your doctor will discuss the results of the test with you and recommend treatment, if needed,
prior to your going home.
The final report on your EEG will be sent to your primary doctor within a few days. He or she
will discuss the results of the test with you and recommend treatment, if needed.
Questions or concerns
If you have any questions, or if you need to change the date or time of the test, please call the
EEG lab at (608) 263-8483.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942. Ask for the EEG lab.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4206.