Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
Sometimes referred to as "conscious sedation" or "twilight anesthesia," monitored anesthesia care encompasses the use of a variety of medications, usually given intravenously, to produce varying levels of sedation during surgical procedures. Because this is not considered true general anesthesia, patients may or may not experience awareness and memory of aspects of intra-operative events. An anesthesia provider will be with you at all times to monitor your well-being, and adjust the level of sedation as needed. In addition to the sedation you will receive, your surgeon will often use local anesthetics in the body region where you are being operated upon. The advantage of this type of anesthesia, as opposed to general anesthesia, is that there are typically fewer side-effects such as nausea, sore throat, and memory impairment, as well as the ability to avoid the use of a breathing tube. It is important to remember that the level of anesthesia you receive is tailored to your changing needs during your surgery, and at some point it may become necessary to institute full general anesthesia. Possible side effects include nausea/vomiting, temporary memory impairment and respiratory depression which may necessitate general anesthesia.