A doctor may use procedural sedation for a minor procedure that needs only small amounts of anesthesia and doesn't require an anesthesia specialist to be present. Procedural sedation combines the use of
local anesthesia with sedatives to relax you. You may or may not be conscious.
A local anesthetic is injected into the body area that needs to be
numbed for the procedure. The sedative is usually given
intravenously (IV) first. Benzodiazepines (such as midazolam) are commonly used sedatives. You will
most likely experience forgetfulness (amnesia) with midazolam.
You will be closely monitored during the procedure by a qualified
health professional, such as a
surgeon or other doctor, to avoid any complications.
During some but not all types of procedural sedation, you may respond
appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal commands. Procedural sedation
can help relieve pain and anxiety and limit some of the discomfort of lying
Procedural sedation may be used when:
Your procedure is a minor one that requires only
Your procedure does not require specialized
equipment or a full operating room staff.
You are particularly
anxious or sensitive to pain and want sedation for a minor procedure that is
usually done without sedation.
Small children need to relax and lie still. Sedation for even
very minor procedures or diagnostic tests (such as a
computed tomography [CT] scan) may make it easier for
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.