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Levels of Sedation


While minimal sedation will help you relax, you will likely be awake. You will understand questions your doctor is asking and be able to answer as well as follow directions.


You will feel drowsy and may even fall asleep during the procedure. You may or may not remember some of the procedure. 


You won't actually be unconscious, but you will sleep through the procedure and most likely will have little to no memory of it.

What is sedation and analgesia?

No one likes pain. There are many types of anesthesia available to help you feel comfortable during medical tests and procedures. One common type of pain control is sedation; which relaxes you and sometimes makes you fall asleep. Sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care, conscious sedation or twilight sedation, is used for minor surgeries or shorter, less complex procedures. These procedures may include biopsies, or the use of a scope to examine the throat or colon, and diagnose or treat medical conditions. Another type of pain control is analgesia, which provides pain relief. Sometimes IV sedation and analgesia are combined with another type of pain control called anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves one or more injections to numb a small area of the body. Regional anesthesia is used to numb a larger part of the body.  

How does it work?

Sedation and analgesia medications are usually provided through an IV placed in a vein. Depending on the procedure, the level of sedation may range from minimal to deep. Even with deep sedation, you won't actually be unconscious as you would be under general anesthesia. The analgesia medications may also contribute to your drowsiness. Most patients wake up quickly once the procedure is over and medications are stopped.

What are the side effects?

Possible side effects  include headachesnausea, and drowsiness. Recovery is quicker than general anesthesia. Moderate or deep sedation may slow your breathing in some cases you may be given oxygen.

Who provides sedation?

An anesthesiologist, a medical doctor specializing in anesthesia, pain, and critical care medicine, a registered nurse, or nurse anesthetist working with a qualified physician can administer sedation. With 12 to 14 years of education and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training, anesthesiologists are highly trained medical specialists that help ensure safe and high-quality care.

Preparing for a procedure with sedation:

Preparing for Side Effects

You may have soreness or pain following your procedure. Nausea is also a possible side effect after surgery. Pain medication will be prescribed if necessary.

Ask about medication

There are some medications that you should continue to take and others that you should not. Please notify your practitioner prior to booking if you are taking any medications.

Bring a friend or relative

You most likely will be weak or disoriented following the procedure. You will not be able to drive; be sure that someone is available to take you home after your procedure.

Dress Comfortably

You may be sore from the procedure or have bandages that cover incisions, so dress comfortably and in loose clothing.

Plan for Recovery Time


After the procedure you will be moved into a recovery room where you will be monitored. In most cases you will be able to go home within the hour, longer if you have moderate or deep sedation. Consider having supervision for the first 24 hours after returning home. 

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