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HomeLearnSedation options

IV Sedation (IV) versus Local Anaesthetic (LA)

At MSI Australia we provide a comprehensive service where both IV sedation and local anaesthetic are available across the country. This is because both options are valid and need to be offered to cover the wide range of clients and their needs. Let’s explore further.

What is IV sedation and who is it for?

IV Sedation is an intravenous form of anaesthetic where a needle is used to put a thin plastic tube into a vein in the back of your hand or arm. Small amounts of medicine are given to make you relaxed and sleepy. In most cases, you will not be aware during the procedure, or remember it afterwards. This is different to a General Anaesthetic (GA) where breathing gases are used and masks or tubes are used to assist breathing.

Around 25-30% of our patients nationally choose IV sedation and around 70-75% chose LA.

A specially trained sedationist doctor or anaesthetist will check your health and discuss sedation and any risks on the day. This doctor will give you your sedation and look after you during your procedure. IV sedation is not suitable if you have had previous reactions to IV anaesthetic or if you have serious heart or lung disease.

Please tell the doctor if you have ever had any problems with previous anaesthetics or any heart or lung diseases.

Modern sedation is generally very safe but there some risks.

It is important to remember that if you choose IV sedation then you will need to fast prior to the procedure and you will need to have another person drive you home on the day as you cannot drive for 24 hours after the anaesthetic. See further information here.

What is Local Anaesthetic (LA) and who is it for?

Local anaesthetic is where a small amount of medication is injected into the skin and tissues beneath the skin to deaden the area for a pain-free operation. The deadening usually lasts for 30 minutes but at MSI Australia we use a long acting LA as well which leads to deadening for up to 5 hours or more. When the needle is introduced there can be a small pin-prick feeling.

LA is for anyone who chooses it and there is no need to fast or to have someone else drive you home. It is also for anyone who cannot have IV sedation because of a past reaction or a heart or lung disease. Very rarely some people will feel some faintness even up to an hour or 2 after any procedure under LA so you still need to be aware of this and be careful driving home.

If you are having IV sedation at one of our clinics you must read and understand our Sedation Information guide before your procedure.