Video EEG Patient Information

What is Video EEG Monitoring?

During this procedure, the EEG is recorded for a prolonged period, accompanied by continuous closed-circuit video observation. The digitized EEG and recorded behavior are displayed simultaneously, allowing point-to-point correlations of recorded events and any accompanying electrographic changes.  This allows the determination of the cause of the seizures.

Why do I need Video EEG Monitoring?

Epilepsy is a disease 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 surgery.  In some patients, epilepsy can be helped or  even cured by surgery.

What will happen when I am admitted for monitoring?
Placement of the EEG wires for monitoring

EEG wires will be attached to your head with a special glue so that the electrodes will stay attached for several days.  Sometimes, the electrodes can cause some itching to occur and you will be provided with medication to help the itching.

Your room

You will be admitted to a private room with additional seating in the room for yourself and your guests.  A video camera with sound is running in the room 24 hours a day.  You will be able to go to the bathroom in privacy.  In some cases, there is a bed available for your guest, but at other times you may need to bring an air mattress or other cushion for their comfort.  In general, you will be confined to your room for the length of your stay.  Some facilities may have long cords or day rooms.  Some rooms have exercise equipment, video players or games, others do not.  You should ask about these facilities at the hospital where you are scheduled.

Food

If you are not on a special diet, friends and family members may bring outside food for you to eat.  You may not eat potato chips or other snack foods or chew gum, since this will interfere with the EEG.

Clothing

You should bring comfortable clothing to wear while on the video monitoring unit.  You will not be able to use covers even during sleep because this impedes the viewing of your seizures.  Socks, sweat pants and a loose fitting top with buttons down the front are suggested.  Tight fitting sleeves and pull over tops will not be permitted.

Bathroom Use

In most cases, patients will be allowed unrestricted bathroom privileges.  When you are at highest risk for seizures, someone will need to accompany you for safety purposes.  You will not be video taped while in the bathroom.

What do I need to do before my admission?
  • Sometimes you will need to stop your medications prior to admission.  Please contact the office the week before your admission for specific instructions.  Stopping medications will help you to have seizures more quickly.  The more seizures you have, the more likely it is that we will have a successful monitoring session, and it will at times allow you to go home sooner.
  • Get books to read or puzzles to do during the monitoring to keep you from getting bored or restless.
  • Plan to bring your laptop and charger.
  • You will not be allowed to smoke or chew gum during monitoring.  Plan for stopping smoking prior to the monitoring.  You can use nicotine patches during the monitoring.
  • Assemble enough comfortable, appropriate clothes to wear.  Most patients wear street clothes or a sweat suit during the day and warm pajamas and socks at night.  Remember that the tops should button and be loose fitting.
  • Get video tapes to watch during monitoring.
  • Bring a Game Boy or similar device to play especially if your seizures a brought on by playing the device.
  • Arrange for a friend or family member to be with you if at all possible.
  • Bathe and wash your hair well.  Do not leave any hair products in your hair and remove any braids or hair extensions.  This will facilitate comfortable placement of the electrodes.
Monitoring Comfort

Every effort is made to make your stay as pleasant and brief as possible.  Keep in mind that this procedure is to help you get better and obtain you best chance at freedom from seizures.  However, at best, it can be a boring and tedious process but we would like to see at least 3 episodes or more during your admission.

Risks of Monitoring

All medical procedures carry a certain amount of risk.  Although video monitoring is relatively safe, you could have an uncontrollable seizure, you may experience unusually severe seizures or you may be confronted with emotionally upsetting information.  If you are concerned, you should talk further with your doctor.