FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When can I leave after the procedure?

Recovery time after conscious sedation is much quicker than after general anaesthesia. It will depend on both sedation and surgical factors. Sedation factors include the type of drugs used, the individual's response to the drugs, medical conditions and the time you spend under sedation. The recovery time from sedation is usually no more than thirty minutes.
Surgical factors will depend on the type of surgery you have had and how long the surgeon needs to keep you to check for any possible post surgical complications. This is best discussed with your surgeon.

Can I drive myself home after sedation?

NO. It is essential that you have a responsible adult to drive you home.
In the 24 hours following a sedation or anaesthetic, you are not permitted to:
  • Drive any motor vehicle
  • Operate machinery including home DIY equipment
  • Drink alcohol or take recreational drugs
  • Sign any legally binding document
You should also be able to return to the hospital quickly should any surgical or sedation related complications arise.

Will my sedation be covered by my medical aid fund?

There is a clear financial advantage to conscious sedation performed in your medical practitioner's office. Most medical aid funds are aware of this but we encourage you to contact your medical aid fund to find out. As Sound Asleep Sedation Services are not contracted to medical aid funders we will not submit to them directly.

Am I a candidate for conscious sedation?

All patients are carefully selected. Please click here to complete our Medical History Questionnaire and we will let you know if you are a candidate for conscious sedation based on the assessment of your questionnaire.

I am about to have surgery, what do I need to know?

Please click here for our Sedation Instructions.

How is conscious sedation different from a general anaesthetic?

General anaesthesia is a drug induced loss of consciousness providing complete amnesia during which a patient cannot be roused even by painful stimuli.
Conscious sedation is a drug induced depression of consciousness during which a patient responds to verbal commands, with or without a light tactile stimulus, e.g. tapping the patient's forehead or squeezing their hand.

Who will be providing my conscious sedation?

All conscious sedation performed by this practice will be conducted by either a specialist anaesthetist or a general practitioner with a diploma in anaesthesia, both qualifications recognised by the College of Medicine of South Africa. The doctor responsible for your sedation and well being will be in no way involved in the surgical procedure as your safety is our only concern.

If it is called conscious sedation, will I be awake during the procedure?

Many of the drugs used cause amnesia, or put another way, cause you to forget. The drugs are slowly introduced so that while you will be in a state similar to sleep, you will still be able to respond to commands from the surgeon or the anaesthetist. It is very likely that you will have no recall of the entire procedure.

If I do have some recollection of the procedure, will I be in pain?

No. As well as sedative medication, your anaesthetist will administer pain medication, both for the duration of the procedure, and to control post operative pain. In addition to this, either the anaesthetist or surgeon will administer local anaesthetic once you are sedated to reduce pain at the site of the operation.

What are the side effects of conscious sedation?

Possible side effects include:
  • Unintended loss of consciousness
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Shivering (4%)
  • Headaches (4%)
  • Nausea and vomiting (0.7%)
There is a lower incidence of side effects than with general anaesthesia.
It is important to note that your anaesthetist is trained to deal with all of the above complications. This is the reason that the sole responsibility of the anaesthetist is you!

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Johannesburg, South Africa