© Estrella Gastroenterology 2009
Sedation analgesia can provide pain relief as well as relief of anxiety that may accompany some treatments or diagnostic tests. It involves using medications for many types of procedures without using general anesthesia, which causes complete unconsciousness. Sedation analgesia is usually administered through an intravenous catheter, or "I.V.," to relax you and to minimize any discomfort that you might experience. Oftentimes, sedation analgesia can have fewer side effects than may occur with general anesthesia. Frequently, there is less nausea from sedation techniques, and patients generally recover faster after the procedures.
When receiving moderate sedation, you will feel drowsy and may even sleep through much of the procedure, but will be easily wakened when spoken to or touched. You may or may not remember being in the procedure room. During deep sedation, you will sleep through the procedure with little or no memory of the procedure room. Your breathing can slow, and you might be sleeping until the medications wear off. With deep sedation, supplemental oxygen is often given.
As with any type of anesthesia, you will be monitored when receiving sedation analgesia. These monitors are very important to ensure your safety. They are used to monitor your heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and the oxygen levels of your blood. During moderate and deep sedation, someone will be solely responsible for monitoring your vital signs and controlling your level of consciousness.
If you have received minimal sedation only, you may be able to go home once the procedure is finished. If you have received moderate or deep sedation, you will probably require more time to recover. Often this may be within an hour. In the recovery room, you will be monitored until the effects of the medication wear off. Any after-effects of the medication must be minimal or gone before you will be discharged from the facility to go home. You will not be allowed to drive yourself, so arrangements should be made for a responsible adult to provide you with transportation. If you think you may need some assistance, you might consider having someone stay with you on the day of procedure.