Anesthesia – Conscious Sedation

Public healthcare has been searching for years for the best painkiller to use during surgical procedures.

Conscious Sedation is a fast-growing painkiller that aims to limit the amount of pain in an operation. This can ultimately lead to many Americans having the ability to tolerate uncomfortable procedures with a lot more ease.

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What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious Sedation is used to treat pain during an operation – aiming to make the patient feel relaxed during surgical procedures. It uses sedatives (alongside other medicines to help calm the patient down) and anesthetics (to reduce the feeling of pain.)

1. The doctor will provide you with conscious sedation during a medical procedure.
2. Most of the time, the medicine is received through an IV line (through a vein) or straight into the muscle.
3. With swallowing the medication, the full feeling of the drugs won’t hit you until an hour post-swallowing.
4. What typically happens is that your heart will slow down and your breathing will be slower and more controlled (almost like you are asleep.)
5. If you need help with your breathing, the health care professional can provide you with the necessary equipment (e.g. an oxygen mask.)

Fun Fact: Using this method doesn’t necessarily mean that you will fall asleep during the procedure. Most people actually keep their eyes open whilst using conscious sedation however many feel numb with the inability to speak.

Why is Conscious Sedation better than any other type of treatment during surgery?

There are many benefits of conscious sedation – including the fact that most people have a speedy recovery after the operation. There is a significant correlation between fast recovery times and using Conscious Sedation over any other painkiller.

This essentially means that you will be able to go back to daily life without waiting for a long period of time.

Most people report going back to their every-day activities the day after surgery.

Where can Conscious Sedation be used?

Although Conscious Sedation works well for small operations, it is not long lasting and therefore cannot be used for any complex surgeries.

Some examples of where conscious sedation can be used include:
• Dental Surgery
• Minor surgeries (including bone fractures)
• Plastic Surgery

These three surgeries are the most popular use of Conscious Sedation, however, it can be used in other small procedures.

Are there any risks involved?

It is one of the safest methods to treat pain in small procedures.

There are more side effects with using general anesthesia (vomiting, muscular pains, migraines) compared to Conscious Sedation.

Researchers found it very rare if patients using Conscious Sedation experienced any side effects at all. In fact – research has shown that nearly 100% of patients agreed to use Conscious Sedation again for their next procedure as they saw it as harmless.

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Key things to note before having Conscious Sedation as treatment during an operation


Most health care professionals recommend limiting the amount of food and drink you have the day of the surgery. You must always consult with your doctor to find out whether you need to fast before the operation (some medications require you to have small amounts of food and drink in your system.)


Side Effects to Conscious Sedation


Researchers have found no serious side effects linked to conscious sedation however after the treatment you may feel fatigued. Another common side effect is to have a constant feeling of nausea – this should pass within 24 hours.

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