Our gastrointestinal procedures have two different options for sedation: conscious sedation, and monitored anesthesia care (MAC). While both of these offer suitable pain management benefits, here are the differences between the two options:
With conscious sedation, you will be heavily sedated but still conscious. You will be able to breathe on your own without the need of a ventilator or breathing tube, and you may still be able to respond to verbal stimuli. The most typically used medications are IV Versed and Fentanyl, and they do take a few hours to wear off after the procedure. The medications are administered by nurses at the direction of your gastroenterologist. You will need someone to pick you up after your procedure and ensure you get home safely. You will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day.
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) with Propofol
With MAC anesthesia (Monitored Anesthesia Care), you will be put to sleep and will be unconscious. You will be able to breathe on your own without the need of a ventilator or breathing tube. Your anesthesia will be carefully monitored by a licensed CRNA throughout the procedure. After the procedure, there is a generally quick recovery, though you will still need someone to pick you up and ensure that you get home safely. You will not be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery for the rest of the day.
Consult Your Physician!
It is important to always consult your physician when making any decisions concerning your pain management or anesthesia.