IV drip

What is sedation?

Sedation is otherwise known as ‘twilight anaesthesia’. You are rendered very sleepy and unaware of your surroundings, while still maintaining the capacity to breathe on your own, move and (sometimes) obey commands. The vast majority of people have no recollection of the procedure.

Sedation is different from general anaesthesia, where I administer greater quantities of anaesthetic medication in order to render you completely unconscious.

I use sedation for:

  • Specific surgical procedures – gastroscopy, colonoscopy, closed reduction of broken bones, and examination under anaesthesia.

  • To supplement regional anaesthesia techniques – spinals, epidurals and peripheral nerve blocks.


Why should I have sedation?

  • Less side-effects: as you receive a lower quantity of anaesthetic, you will experience less nausea, vomiting and post-operative sedation. This helps you recover quicker.

  • Avoiding general anaesthesia: sedation reduces the effects of anaesthesia on your heart, lungs and brain, which may confer safety benefits for some patients.

  • Specific procedures may require you to be conscious in order to give feedback to your surgeon during your procedure.


How is a sedation performed?

I will apply standard monitoring, and oxygen therapy via a mask prior to your sedation. I administer the sedation intravenously, through an IV cannula (‘drip’) that I place in your hand or forearm.


Are there complications?

Generally, complications are rare with sedation. A minority of patients have dream-like recollections of the experience, and can recall features of the operating room or verbal conversations, however these are not distressing.


Will I recover quickly?

Most patients are able to go home on the same day of surgery. Please ensure you have someone to accompany you home. For at least 24 hours after sedation, do not:

  • drive a car;

  • make important decisions;

  • use any dangerous equipment or tools;

  • sign any legal documents; or

  • drink alcohol.