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You should eat breakfast and take all usual medicines on the morning of the test dose. Please bring your medicines and/or special foods with you to the hospital.

  • You will be admitted early in the morning to Gillette’s rehabilitation service for the test dose.
  • A nurse will ask questions about what medicines you currently take and check your weight and vital signs.
  • EMLA or LMX cream (a numbing cream) will be applied to your back to numb the skin.
  • A doctor or nurse practitioner will do a brief examination, including assessing muscle tone.
  • A child life specialist meets with patients under age 18 to teach about and help prepare for the procedure.
  • At least 30-60 minutes after the numbing cream is applied, a doctor will perform the test dose. The numbing cream is removed and Lidocaine is injected to numb the area under the skin. After locating the fluid-filled space that surrounds the spinal cord, the baclofen is injected. You will need to lie flat in bed for a period of time after the test dose.
  • You will be monitored to check your heart rate or the oxygen in the blood.
  • Nurses will check your vital signs several times during the course of the day.
  • A doctor, nurse practitioner or physical therapist will check your muscle tone frequently during the eight hours after the test dose.
  • We usually see the maximum effect of the baclofen between two and four hours after the dose. Generally it is wearing off by the eighth hour after the dose.
  • Before you leave the hospital, a doctor will discuss the test results with you.
  • If the test dose is not effective, you have the option of returning to have a higher dose administered.
  • If the test dose is effective, you are a candidate to have an intrathecal baclofen pump implanted.
  • Before your pump can be implanted, you will need to see one of the neurosurgeons who performs the surgery. The surgery will be scheduled according to your schedule and the surgeon’s.
  • Gillette will need to receive prior authorization from your medical insurance company before the procedure. (NOTE: It may take at least two weeks to obtain authorization from your insurance company.)

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.