What is the best alternative position when performing a lumbar puncture (LP) in obese patients?

Updated: Aug 02, 2018
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

The sitting position (see the image below) may be a helpful alternative, especially in obese patients, because it makes it easier to confirm the midline. In order to open the interlaminar spaces, the patient should lean forward and be supported by a Mayo stand with a pillow on it, by the back of a stool, or by another person.

Lumbar puncture sitting position. Image courtesy o Lumbar puncture sitting position. Image courtesy of Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD.

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