What is sedation?

Sedation is a state somewhere between fully awake and fully anaesthetised – whether a patient is more on the awake side or the anaesthetised side depends on the requirement of the surgery and the patient, and can be tailored to suit by your anaesthetist.

Good sedation provides excellent anxiety relief and adequate conditions for minor procedures like gastroscopies, colonoscopies, superficial skin lesions and the like. Local anaesthetic injections can also be added on top of sedation to provide additional pain relief, if needed.

It is often the technique of choice for suitable patients because it avoids the burden of a full anaesthetic on the body. It causes less drop in blood pressure, which means less effect on the heart, the brain and other highly blood supply dependent organs. In addition, the patient would usually breathe for him or herself under sedation, without the need to be put onto a breathing machine. This avoids many hazards and complications associated with inserting airway devices to help patients breathe, which would normally be required if fully anaesthetised. It also means the patient becomes wakeful much faster, and allows for earlier discharge home.