Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedure. You will probably stay awake but may not be able to speak.
Conscious sedation lets you recover quickly and return to your everyday activities soon after your procedure.
A nurse, doctor, or dentist, will give you conscious sedation in the hospital or outpatient clinic. Most of the time, it will not be an anesthesiologist. The medicine will wear off quickly, so it is used for short, uncomplicated procedures.
You may receive the medicine through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein) or a shot into a muscle. You will begin to feel drowsy and relaxed very quickly. If your doctor gives you the medicine to swallow, you will feel the effects after about 30 to 60 minutes.
Your breathing will slow down, and your blood pressure may drop a little. Your nurse or doctor will monitor you every 3 to 5 minutes during your procedure to make sure you are okay. This person will stay with you at all times during the procedure.
You should not need help with your breathing. But you may receive extra oxygen through a mask or IV fluids through a catheter (tube) into a vein.
You may fall asleep, but you will wake up easily to respond to people in the room. You may be able to respond to verbal cues. After conscious sedation, you may feel drowsy and not remember much about your procedure.
Why the Procedure is Performed?
Conscious sedation is safe and effective for patients who need minor surgery or a procedure to diagnose a condition.
After Conscious Sedation
After conscious sedation, you will feel sleepy and may have a headache or feel sick to your stomach. During recovery, your finger will be clipped to a special device (pulse oximeter) to check the oxygen levels in your blood. Your blood pressure will be checked with an arm cuff about every 15 minutes.
You should be able to go home 1 to 2 hours after your procedure.
When you are home:
- Eat a healthy meal to restore your energy.
- You should be able to return to your everyday activities the next day.
- Avoid driving, operating machinery, drinking alcohol, and making legal decisions for at least 24 hours.
- Check with your doctor before taking any medicines or herbal supplements.
- If you had surgery, follow your doctor's instructions for recovery and wound care.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is very important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.