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First, an intravenous line will be placed, generally in your hand. We will then bring you to the operating room and place several monitors on you, such as a heart, blood pressure and a pulse. These will enable us to monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure. Following placement of the monitors we will begin to give you some intravenous medication in order to decrease anxiety, as well as provide you with some pain relief.
You will then be asked to sit on the side of the bed. After cleaning a small patch of your skin, a local anesthetic will be injected into the skin to decrease any pain associated with performance of the procedure. The medication is then administered through a small needle in the occipital region of your head and neck. The procedure itself is very brief, and usually lasts less then 10 minutes. Occasionally, patients describe a transient worsening of their headache after the medication is administered. This is viewed by the physicians as a reassuring sign that the medication is going into the right area, and this sensation should disappear very quickly.