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Conscious Sedation in Gynaecology

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation is not a general anaesthetic. You will receive a sedative and a strong painkiller via a needle in your arm. This will make you feel relaxed and may make you feel sleepy. It will help with any pain or discomfort you feel during your procedure. You will be conscious throughout, if you fall asleep we will wake you. You will not be in pain. You may remember everything or nothing. This is normal.

What should I do before I come in?

If you are having sedation, you must organise for someone to take you home after the procedure and be with you for the next 24 hours.

Continue all your regular medications.

Do I need to fast before the procedure?

You must NOT eat anything 6 hours before your procedure. You can have clear fluids up to two hours before your appointment, such as water or black tea or black coffee.

What are the risks and benefits?

The benefits of conscious sedation is that you will feel more comfortable during the procedure compared with local anaesthetic alone. There is a risk you may have a reaction to the medication. This is unlikely but if happens your procedure will be stopped and you will be observed for a longer period of time.

What will happen when I come in?

You do not need to bring anyone to your appointment, unless they are acting on your behalf. Your escort will only be needed when you are discharged. Please avoid bringing cash or

On admission to the department a nurse will ask you several questions about your health, current medication, and drug allergies. You will have your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels checked. You will be asked to get into a hospital gown.

You will then be seen by the nurse or doctor doing your procedure. This is an opportunity to talk about the procedure. An electronic consent form will already have been sent to you. This will be confirmed with you.

What options are available?

You will be booked for conscious sedation, however if you change your mind then other options are available to you.

1. No anaesthetic/pain relief
2. Simple pain relief such as paracetamol and
3. Local anaesthetic
4. Gas and air
5. General anaesthetic (on another day)

What will happen during the procedure?

You will be escorted to the procedure room. In the procedure room a needle will be inserted into your arm, you will then lie on an examination couch. You may be asked to put your legs up into stirrups. Two nurses and the doctor will stay with you throughout the test.

You will be given the medications into your vein via a needle in your arm. . The procedure will
then be undertaken.

During your procedure you may be given oxygen through little prongs that fit just inside your nostrils. Your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels will also be monitored. A nurse or doctor
will be speaking to you and monitoring you throughout.

After the procedure you will be taken to a recovery area and monitored for an hour.

Do I need to be escorted home?

If you have had sedation you must have an adult escort you from the department. Please ensure the nurses have the contact details for your escort prior to the procedure. A nurse from the unit will ring your escort once you are ready to be collected.

Please note: You will not be able to have sedation if you do not have an escort arranged to
collect you. We cannot escort you home.

The sedative will make you drowsy and even if you feel wide awake your reactions may still be affected. You may find it difficult to concentrate and you may forget things that you have been told after your procedure. The doctor will give you written information on your procedure. This includes the advice that for 24 hours after sedation you should not drive, ride a bicycle, operate machinery, take sedatives, drink alcohol or sign any legally binding documents.

Please see separate discharge information document for further information.

Conscious Sedation in Gynaecology

This leaflet has been written by staff working in the Ambulatory Gynaecology Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

We hope you find it useful. If, after you have read it, you have questions or concerns, please ring or email the appropriate service on the below numbers and email.

When you come into the Unit (Lower Ground Floor Outpatients, lift bank C, Gate 2), please talk to us about any worries and ask any questions you have.

Your appointment time in Ambulatory Gynaecology is approximate because some procedures may take longer than expected. Please expect to be in the department for several hours -having the pre-procedure checks, the procedure and for recovery after the procedure.

Contact information

M: 07468 740422 (Mondays & Fridays 9-5pm only)

Urogynaecology & Cystoscopy
T: 020 3315 5866

General inquiries
T: 020 3315 6666 (Appointments)
T: 020 3315 4007 (Gynaecology Outpatients)

In case of emergency please dial 999 or 111

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)

If you have concerns or wish to give feedback about services, your care or treatment, you can contact the PALS office on the Ground Floor of the hospital just behind the main reception.

Alternatively, you can send us your comments or suggestions on one of our comment cards, available at the PALS office, or on a feedback form on our website. Send us feedback — Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (

We value your opinion and invite you to provide us with feedback.

Chelsea Site:
0203 315 6727

West Middlesex Site:
0208 321 6261

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
NHS Foundation Trust
369 Fulham Road
SW10 9NH

T: 020 3315 8000