Some surgery is best performed using a combination of local anesthetic administered by the surgeon, and sedation administered by an anesthesiologist. Often, intravenous sedative medicine is administered by the anesthesiologist prior to the surgeon's injection of local anesthetic. This allows the patient to be unaware of what would otherwise be painful injections of local anesthetic.
Often the anesthesiologist will continue the intravenous sedative through the entire surgery. This allows the patient to sleep lightly during the surgery. The patient is unaware of anything during the surgery, and has no memory of the surgery afterward. Used this way, local anesthetic and sedation provides a patient with the same unawareness as general anesthesia, but at a much lighter level of medication than with general anesthesia. Some of the risks and side effects of general anesthesia are avoided.Muriel
For some surgeries, the anesthesiologist and surgeon will recommend that the patient sleep lightly through the injections of local anesthetic, and then awaken soon after these injections have been completed and remain awake during the surgery.
The advantages of using local and sedation include a lighter level of medication, more rapid arousal after surgery, avoidance of the risks and side effects of other more profound forms of anesthesia, and a shorter stay after surgery prior to going home.
As with other forms of anesthesia, the anesthesiologist remains in attendance through the entire surgery to be sure that the patient stays comfortable and safe.