Intravenous sedation involves careful administration of sedatives and pain medications to achieve an adequate level of comfort for surgery. Minimal sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation are the various levels of monitored anesthesia care (MAC) that our anesthesiologists administer to help you get through surgery.
A common misconception is that intravenous sedation is safer than general anesthesia. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Intravenous sedation can be more difficult because it involves a patient that is breathing on their own without our assistance. Our anesthesiologists must be prepared to intervene and assist with airway management at any time.
As levels of sedation increase, the patient's ability to breath on their own may become compromised, which may become a medical emergency. NYNJA physicians have extensive training in difficult airway management, having taken care of hospital-based patients with:
- head and neck tumors
- morbid obesity
- cervical spine issues limiting optimal neck movement
This is why we, at NYNJA, do not believe in a "safe" level of sedation. We remain vigilant throughout the procedure, and focus on your level of sedation and response to surgery to minimize risk to your health.
Your anesthesiologist takes into account the following pieces of information to determine the appropriate level of sedation:
- Age - generally speaking, as patients become older they require less medication to achieve the desired effect
- Medical history - with a focus on neurologic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, and renal disease processes
- Weight - with careful consideration for signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
- Type of surgery - certain procedures are less stimulating and therefore require a lighter level of sedation
We understand that you may have questions before the day of surgery, so we provide consultation services prior to the day of surgery to answer all of your questions and alleviate any anxiety that you may be experiencing beforehand. Send us your question, and we will do our best to answer it.