HF 5462

Intracranial Pressure Monitoring (ICP) - Outpatient

What is ICP? 

ICP is used to measure pressure in the head and decide 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:

  • Headache

  •  Feeling sleepy

  • Decrease in appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Irritability

  • “Sunset eyes” (eyes which only look down)

How is the ICP monitor placed?

A surgery is done to place the ICP monitor. 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 this time.

Before the Monitor is Placed

  • You will have a physical exam and lab tests that include blood work and urinalysis.

  • Schedule this exam with your primary care provider or with a nurse in our department.

  • Complete this within 30 days of surgery. We may cancel surgery without an updated pre-op exam.

  • Please contact your insurance company for any needed referrals.

Stop these medicines for two weeks before surgery:

  • Aspirin, Excedrin®, Ascriptin®, and Ecotrin®

  • Vitamins and herbal supplements

  • Plavix®

  • Coumadin® or Warfarin,Ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®Nuprin®, and Aleve®

It is alright to use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if needed.

No smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke for two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking delays wound healing. Cigarette smoke contains a poison that lowers the level of oxygen in the blood. 

See the HFFY “getting your skin ready for surgery” for pre-op bathing. 

After midnight the night before surgery:

  • Do not eat anything.

  • Do not drink any milk or juice with pulp.

  • You may drink clear liquids up until 4 hours before surgery.

You will be called the afternoon before surgery. At this time, you will be told

  • What time you need to arrive at the hospital.

  • The final details about how to get ready for the next day.

  • You will need to sign a consent form. The consent states that you understand what was explained to you about the procedure. It also states that you know about the risks and benefits of the surgery.

  • Do not wear make-up, jewelry, or nail polish to surgery. 

  • You will receive antibiotics while the ICP monitor is in place.

After the Monitor is Placed

  • Once you are awake you can eat and  move around your room.

  • If you have pain, acetaminophen  (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) will be given.

  • When the device is removed, one or two staples or stitches are used to close the incision.

  • The staples or stitches will be removed in 7-10 days in the clinic.

  • Keep the incision clean and dry for 3 days.

  • After three days, you may bathe and wash your hair. Do not scrub over the incision.

Phone Numbers

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