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Anesthesia

Conscious sedation without versed

07/31/2006

Question:

I am having hammertoe surgery and wish to avoid the amnesiac affect versed provides. Can I request that the conscious sedation be used without versed?

Answer:

The amnesia you get with Versed (midazolam) is not "retrograde" amnesia - in other words, you don't lose your memory for events occurring before you are given the drug. All the drugs, not just midazolam, that are used to depress consciousness will also affect memory. If you are sedated or unconscious you are not registering new memories. Most patients do not wish to be aware of what is happening during surgery and that is why drugs such as midazolam are in common use. If you are to receive moderate or deep sedation for your surgical procedure it is possible to avoid the use of midazolam. But, what are your goals? Have you had a bad experience in the past? It is best to discuss what you are trying to achieve with your anesthesia provider rather than directing her to avoid the use of a specific drug.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University