question about anesthesia


last week i had my wisdom teeth taken out. i agreed to have general anesthesia. so they put me to sleep for the procedure. the last thing i remember is the oral surgeon putting an IV in my arm, and the next thing i remember is waking up once the procedure was over.

the doctor apparently told my mom at some point that i was getting an amnesia drug. why would i get that? is that standard for anyone?

while i was having my procedure done, my mom talked with a girl and her mother in the waiting room. the girl was going to have her wisdom teeth extracted after me and was being put to sleep also.

when i was in the "recovery room" with my mom, i was a little confused but remember most of what was going on. i was feeling nauseous whenever i sat up, so i stayed in there for about 45 minutes. at one point, my mom and i heard the oral surgeon and nurse in the other room with the girl, not exactly yelling, but telling her to "sit still, sit still, sit still!"

if the girl was put to sleep, why would she be moving around and why would they need to tell her to sit still? can anyone explain this? :uhoh3: thanks.

i am hoping it is not what i'm thinking...

btw, i didn't mean to post this under NS discussion, i meant to do general nursing discussion but now i'm not sure how to move it.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

They probably gave you a drug called Versed. This is used for short diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. It is fairly short acting and in addition to causing sedation it also causes amnesia. I think the other patient was still awake b/c they were trying to get the IV in,b/c if they had given the sedative she would have been out of it (just a quess though). Also maybe she needed an additional dose. I have had versed as part of a pre-op and could not remember a thing after sliding onto the gurney.

thanks for the info. i just thought they would've been past the point of starting her IV and everything since i had already been in the recovery room for well over 45 minutes.

thanks for the info about the medication.

i thought about them putting her IV in, but i just thought they would've been past that point since i had already been in the recovery room for about 45 minutes. also, i know for myself they gave me nitrous oxide (?) before starting my IV, so i wasn't asleep, but i was already pretty much out of it by the time they were doing that, i wouldn't have been able to be doing much thrashing around, but that might not have been the case with her - i don't know. you just should've heard them trying to calm her down!

thanks for the info about the medication.

i had thought about them maybe starting her IV, but since i had already been in the recovery room for about 45 minutes, i thought they would've already done that. i also know they gave me nitrous oxide (?) before they started my IV, so i was pretty much out of it by the time they came to that... i wasn't asleep yet, but i definitely couldn't have been doing much thrashing around - maybe that wasn't the case for her though. you just should have heard them trying to calm her to down! it was strange.

oh good lord this thing! the page wouldn't load so i didn't know my other replies posted... and i just had the best time trying to remember everything i had written!

haha... grrrrrr...

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

They gave you something to put you into what the lay public call a twilight sleep. One of the side effects of some of the drugs that accomplish this twilight sleep is amnesia. You most certainly can awaken during the procedures and do all kinds of things including talk and move if you haven't been given a large enough dose, but you usually won't remember it. When I was told that I would be intubated while awake for one of my recent surgeries I about had a cow until they told me that I would be given something first so I would not remember anything.


91 Posts

Don't forget that part of the 45 minutes you were in the recovery room would have been used (hopefully!) to clean up the room and sanitize everything, including everyone's hands and clothing!

thanks for all the replies. this was my first experience having anesthesia... i just find it crazy to think that i could've woken up and been doing who knows what during the whole thing and have no way of even knowing it happened or remembering it! i keep trying to think about it but it's hard to wrap your mind around.


194 Posts

I had the same sort of anesthesia for a D&C a few years ago. They gave me versed in an IV and then gave me a spinal (which seems weird, but that is the order they did it). I don't know why the spinal was necessary. I do know the versed blocked out 95% of the procedure from my memory. I don't know why they told you you were having general anesthesia, or did you just misinterpret what the doctor told you? I went to the dentist this week and he told me if I wanted braces again I'd have to have my wisdom teeth pulled beforehand. He mentioned twilight anesthesia for the extraction.

hmm. i was informed about the different choices i had as far as anesthetics. twilight anesthesia was not an option. i chose to have general anesthesia. however, what they actually did to me or the other girl, i am not quite sure...

could the doctor has intentionally misinformed a patient of what was actually being done? maybe they just call it "general anesthesia" to put patients at ease.


998 Posts

Specializes in General adult inpatient psychiatry.

This ( link I found talks a little bit about the differences between "twilight sedation" and general anesthesia. Twilight and general are not the same and it would be unethical for a doctor to misinform a patient about their choices. That said, it appears that "twilight sedation" is more often called "conscious sedation" which sounds alot better in my opinion.

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