HF 4206

EEG (Electroencephalogram) – Outpatient

Your doctor has ordered an EEG for you. This is 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 doctor diagnose a variety of neurological problems such as:

  • Common headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Seizure disorders

  • Strokes 

  • Degenerative brain disease.

It is not painful, and you should feel no ill effects from it. The test will take about an hour. 

Preparing for your EEG

If you are an inpatient, an EEG technologist will perform the study at your bedside. You do not need to prepare for the test.

If you are an outpatient

  • 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.

  • You may eat and take any needed medicine before your test.

  • 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.

For outpatients

Volunteers at the main desk can direct you. Your EEG visit is in the EEG lab, J5/2. You must stop and register 15 minutes before your visit.

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. Then continue right on ‘Main Street’ through the H elevator lobby to the J lobby. Please check in at the EEG desk. 

The Procedure

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 tests 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.


For Inpatients

Your doctor will discuss the results of the test with you and suggest a treatment, if needed, prior to your going home.

For Outpatients

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 suggest a 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.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.