Intracranial Pressure Monitoring (ICP) - Outpatient
What is ICP (intracranial pressure) monitoring?
ICP is used to measure pressure in the head and determine treatment. Pressure is affected by the
amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. The CSF cushions the brain and spinal cord.
If there is too much CSF, the pressure (ICP) increases.
Symptoms of increased pressure include:
ξ Feeling sleepy
ξ Decrease in appetite
ξ Blurred or double vision
ξ “Sunset eyes” (eyes which only look down)
How is the ICP monitor placed?
If needed, the patient will be sedated while the monitor is placed. Once the skin is numbed, a
small incision is made in the front of the scalp. Then, a small hole is drilled into the skull. The
ICP sensing device is placed a short distance next to the brain. A bandage keeps the device in
place. The pressure is watched and recorded for 24 – 48 hours. You will stay in the ICU during
Before the monitor is placed
ξ The night before and the morning of the ICP placement, you will need to wash the hair.
Do not use any product on the hair after washing.
ξ If you need sedation for the procedure, do not eat anything or drink any milk or juice with
pulp in it for 6 hours before the ICP monitor placement.
ξ It is alright to drink clear liquids 4 hours prior to sedation.
ξ You should arrive at the hospital admissions 2 hours ahead of time.
ξ Adults check in at admissions in the main hospital.
ξ Children check in at the Guest Depot in the Children’s Hospital.
ξ You will receive antibiotics while the ICP monitor is in place.
After the monitor is placed
ξ Once you are awake from the sedation, you can eat and move around your room.
ξ If you have pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) will be given.
ξ When the device is removed, one or two staples or stitches are used to close the incision.
ξ The staples or stitches will be removed in 7-10 days in the clinic.
ξ Keep the incision clean and dry for 3 days.
ξ After three days, you may bathe and wash your hair. Do not scrub over the incision.
Call with any questions.
American Family Children’s Hospital clinic: (608) 263-6420.
After hours, weekends, and holidays, call the paging operator at (608) 262-0486. Ask for
the neurosurgeon on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor
will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942
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 © 3/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5462