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Anesthesiology/Diazapam for Endoscopy


I am scheduled for an endoscopy next Friday. Yes- I am a big wimp when it comes to medical procedures (blood tests, etc.) and I have read a lot of horror stories on the internet about people gagging, being sick, pulling the endoscope out and having to be pinned down. I am terrified to have this procedure. My doctor said I will be given Valium intravenously, she referred to it as "conscious sedation". I am 13 years old. How sleepy will I be, will I hear what's going on, and feel the gastroscope? Also: does it happen to make you more talkative and prone to been truthful (I have seen this on TV :-).Thankyou!

Thank you for asking this very important and interesting question. I am delighted to have the opportunity to discuss this.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a very common and safe procedure that is typically done in the doctor's office or at a free-standing clinic. Patients are ready to return home shortly after the procedure is complete. In order to accomplish this, patients are given medication through an intravenous catheter to relieve their anxiety about the procedure as well as to reduce the discomfort and recall for the procedure. This is called "conscious sedation".

Although the name sounds as though you would be "awake" during the procedure, that is not entirely true. We use drugs such as diazepam or, more commonly, midazolam because both of these drugs produce significant amnesia and would prevent recall during your procedure. In addition, it is common to add small doses of pain medication to reduce or eliminate discomfort. The goal is to have you undergo the procedure without remembering or feeling the process.

Sometimes the doctor who is performing the procedure will administer these medications. However, they may request that an anesthesiologist (a doctor who specializes in anesthesiology - an anesthetist in Australia) administer the medications. This doctor will also monitor your pulse, blood pressure, and the oxygen level in your blood as well as your level of sedation. They will administer the medications in such a manner that you will continue to remain adequately sedated throughout your procedure and that you remain safe. They are your "guardian angel".

Your question about being "talkative" or "more truthful" is a myth sadly perpetrated by Hollywood and the movies. In almost 40 years of administering anesthesia I have never seen this occur. You can be at ease that your secrets will remain yours alone.

Good luck with you procedure. I am confident that things will go just fine.


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Charles T Porter Jr MD


Questions in all fields of Anesthesiology except Pain Management.


I have been in the practice of Anesthesiology since 1981.

American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Anesthesia Research Society, Texas Society of Anesthesiologists, Texas Medical Association

Graduate of the Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina. Completed Anesthesiology residency at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, California. Board certified in Anesthesiology and a Fellow of the American College of Anesthesiologists.

Awards and Honors
Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society 1978, Outstanding Graduate Anesthesiology Resident Naval Medical Center San Diego California

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