Consider a hypothetical situation. You are a 50-year-old male, smoker, and have been suffering from IBS for the past 20 years. Recently you are experiencing per rectal bleeding during defecation. Like most individuals, you got anxious and rushed to your nearby hospital. A doctor took your detailed history and advised you colonoscopy investigation. All on a sudden you are having to deal with the possibility of going under anesthesia for the very first time. Now, as your doctor might have already briefed, your anesthesia colonoscopy might be done through several procedures, some of them might induce conscious sedation while others might induce deep sedation. Which one should you go for? Considering your age, physical condition, and adverse drug reactions which one should be your preferred choice? Confused? Well, we will help you in this regard. Read on!
Conscious vs. deep sedation
While some patients might prefer to stay conscious throughout their anesthesia colonoscopy, others might prefer to sleep through the whole procedure. Numerous studies have proved the efficacy of conscious anesthetic procedures such as MAC over more traditional option such as general anesthesia. Here, doctors will be able to monitor the patient continuously and can make adjustments to dosage based on patient complaints and recommendations. Moreover, colonoscopy is not a highly complex operation and can be done in outdoor surgical facilities. Hence, conscious sedation is our choice here, but bear in mind, only your physician can ascertain your true physical condition, and hence he will have the final say.
Managing adverse reactions
During conscious sedation, several drugs are administered intravenously, some of which are highly toxic and can cause serious harm if administered in excessive amount. For example, propofol, a drug used during conscious anesthesia colonoscopy might cause respiratory depression. The drug has a considerably low therapeutic index and can easily cause apnea in patients. Hence, registered doctors tasked with patient care would need to continuously monitor the respiratory and heart rate during the procedure to avoid such unfortunate events. In addition, midazolam, a drug often used to induce anesthesia causes retrograde amnesia in patients. Plus, this drug is further responsible for mild adverse effects such as hiccups, nausea, and itching. Your doctor should make sure the drug is suitable for you and causes little allergic reactions.
The modern solution: Virtual colonoscopy
Modern medical science has blessed us with varying choices. While conscious sedation might still be the “gold standard” in anesthesia colonoscopy, other valid options are getting popularity among patients. If you are not willing to go through any sort of anesthesia, you can choose virtual colonoscopy. It is done using a CT scan or MRI machine and compared to traditional colonoscopy methods; it takes only 10 minutes to perform. The only downside is that once an abnormality has been found, you will have to once again go through a more traditional colonoscopic method.