What is Sedation?
The aim of advanced intravenous conscious sedation is to make you comfortable, totally relaxed and safe during a procedure.
Conscious sedation is achieved with intravenous agents (e.g. benzodiazepines, opiates, other sedative/anaesthetics) usually administered into a vein.
Administration of the sedatives and analgesia results in you becoming drowsy and sleepy, pain free, and probably amnesic such that you will have very little recollection of the procedure. Communication is possible if necessary during the operation because even though you are completely relaxed and unconcerned, you are not completey unconscious at any point in time.
Your vital signs (i.e. blood pressure, breathing, pulse rate, etc) are monitored throughout the procedure to ensure your safety, and a sedationist will stay with you all the time.
Recovery after sedation is much faster than with general anaesthesia. The same applies for the side effect profile (e.g. nausea and vomiting, headaches, muscle pains, sore throats) which is much less than with general anaesthesia - in fact, very few patients experience any side effects at all. For these reasons patient satisfaction is very high after conscious sedation - a recent survey of the experiences and satisfaction of patients who had sedation show that 99.5% of patients would take sedation again if they have a choice.