An anesthetic that you might receive for dental fillings provides a numb feeling in the area being operated. You will be awake and recall the surgery, but there should be no discomfort. Local anesthesia is also usually used during deep sedations and general anesthesia so that there is no discomfort to the patient when the anesthetic drugs have worn off.
Medication taken by mouth to produce relaxation before and during your operation may be used in addition to local anesthesia or nitrous oxide sedation. A particularly nervous patient may benefit from an oral sedative to help him/her sleep the night before surgery.
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
You will be relaxed and somewhat less aware of your surroundings, but recall most of the surgical event. Nitrous oxide is used together with local anesthesia, but also may be used to supplement the choices below.
Conscious Intravenous Sedation
Medications are given through a vein in your arm or hand, which will cause total relaxation and sedation. Local anesthesia is still used but administered after you are sedated. This is particularly useful for seniors, patients with high blood pressure or relatively simple procedures in nervous patients.
Deep Intravenous Sedation (Neurolept anesthesia)
Medications are given through a vein in your arm or hand, which will cause total relaxation and deeper sedation with sleep. Local anesthesia is still used but administered after you are sedated. Patients have little or no recall from their procedure.