Sedation vs Anesthesia: What’s the Difference?

Sedation vs Anesthesia

Whether you’re looking to get breast augmentation or a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), cosmetic procedures can be intimidating. That’s because fear of the unknown can make even the lowest risk procedure seem scary. Fortunately, there are medications that keep you calm during any procedure — from cosmetic to dentistry. Your options include sedation or anesthesia. But, what are the differences? And, what is offered at Innovations Medical?

What is sedation?

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a drug that’s administered through the bloodstream using an IV. Because sedation is distributed through your blood veins, the effects are felt almost instantaneously. Sedation helps patients relax by depressing their consciousness. But, even deep sedation will not cause the patient to require a breathing tube or help breathing. Instead, the patient feels at peace, relaxed, and calm.

Benefits of Sedation

There are many benefits to sedation. In fact, sedation is often considered a safer medication for relaxing in preparation for a procedure. The most common benefits include:

  • More accurate distribution of drugs
  • Minimal risks
  • Quick recovery
  • Quick calming effects
  • Less anxiety/fidgeting for patients

Risks of Sedation

While considered a safer option than other alternatives, sedation comes with its own risks. IV sedation is not recommended for pregnant women because some sedatives can negatively affect fetal development. While short term, IV sedation can also cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

What is anesthesia?

General anesthesia is a drug that drifts patients entirely into unconsciousness. Cardiovascular function is often impaired, so patients will require breathing assistance. This is typically done orally with a tube. However, patients feel no pain. Anesthesia is typically administered intravenously or inhaled.

Benefits of Anesthesia

General anesthesia has many benefits for patients. But, it’s often only used for extreme surgical procedures. As such, the most common benefits include:

  • Reduces patient awareness
  • Offers proper muscle relaxation
  • Gives control of the patient’s airway, breathing, and circulation
  • Rapid administration
  • Prolonged sedation in a single setting

Risks of Anesthesia

While anesthesia has many advantages, there are many risks as well. Common side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Low blood oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slow heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Shivering
  • Becoming more deeply sedated than intended
  • Ineffective sedation (not enough)
  • Need for assisted ventilation
  • Intubation
  • Allergic reactions — including swelling, rashes, sore throats, nausea, and vomiting
  • Blood clots
  • Malignant hyperthermia

Difference Between Sedation & Anesthesia

The main difference between IV sedation and general anesthesia is the accuracy of dosages and the consciousness of patients. Patients with IV sedation mildly lose consciousness and the drug can be administered with the exact dosage needed for the procedure. This makes it easier to awaken, causes less nausea, and mitigates many of the risks of anesthesia — such as a sore throat or hyperthermia. With anesthesia, the patient completely loses consciousness and control, and it’s harder to administer the exact dosage needed.

Due to the number of risks with anesthesia — and keeping our patient’s comfort in mind — Innovation Medical only offers IV sedation. Most of our procedures are minimally invasive and require no sedation at all. But, we understand that treatment can be intimidating. That’s why we provide IV sedation by request. Talk to our experts to see if IV sedation is available for your procedure.

Contact Innovations Medical for IV Sedation

If you’re nervous about scheduling a cosmetic procedure, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.

To find out if IV sedation is available for your treatment and to learn how Innovations Medical can improve your life, call us at (214) 643-8665 or schedule an appointment.