This type of sedation induces an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort through the use of pain relievers and sedatives. Patients who receive conscious sedation usually are able to speak and respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure, communicating any discomfort they experience to the provider. A brief period of amnesia may erase any memory of the procedure.
Conscious sedation is not the same as general anesthesia. Occasionally, there are circumstances in which conscious sedation is not the best option and an anesthesiologist will be consulted for assistance.