Moderate sedation is used during surgery. It will put you in a comfortable, sleepy, and pain-free state. Moderate sedation is different from general anesthesia because it does not require breathing support. It will also be easy to arouse you, so you can respond to questions or commands during surgery.
Reasons for Procedure
Moderate sedation can be used for a range of procedures. If your overall health is poor, your doctor may recommend this type of sedation instead of general anesthesia.
The potential benefits include:
Faster recovery time
Also, moderate sedation does not require you to be connected to a ventilator.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Nausea and vomiting
Temporary memory problems—you may be unable to recall the surgery
Breathing problems during the surgery
Factors that may increase the risk of problems include:
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Moderate (conscious) sedation FAQ. American College of Emergency Physicians website. Available at: https://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=30480#sm.0001fpfenu1dere2buhdwbfpp4x8i. Updated May 26, 2015. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Monitored anesthesia care. Northeastern Anesthesia Services website. Available at: https://www.northeasternanesthesia.com/youranasthesia/care.php. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Patient education brochures. American Society of Anesthesiologists website. Available at: http://www.asahq.org/resources/patients/patient-education-brochures. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Thompson K. Chapter 47: Monitored anesthesia care. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website. Available at: http://www.unc.edu/~rvp/old/RP_Anesthesia/Barash/Ch47_MAC.html. Accessed August 20, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 8/20/2014
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