Anesthesiology/Versed

Advertisement


Question
I have have many surgeries and procedures in the last 9 years, (20+), where versed has been used and was never given information about this particular medication. After my surgeries I was aware of some lack of memory but for the last few procedures I had no memory of discussions I had with the surgeon and anesthesiologist post surgery. They told me later that we already discussed "that". I researched this and learned of Versed. I then went through my medical records and found that I had been given versed for almost all procedures. I no longer want to get Versed, I am also asking that a regional block or spinal be the anesthesia method of choice. I am not nervous about surgery or the surgical room. If anything I am curious. I did have one surgery where they tried to use a local as I didn't want a general and couldn't tolerate the tourniquet so was put out but again they also used versed at that point. Two of my last surgeries they used blocks for a rebuild including fusion of my ankle/heel and for a torn rotator cuff. The blocks worked well but they by checking my medical records I confirmed they also gave me versed. Is there any reason I need to get versed. I am not against pain medication but do not see the need for versed and am bothered I am given it time and again with no knowledge. Are there more risks with blocks or spinals as my doctors tend to want to use general anesthesia, but I think that is riskier. Thank you for your thoughts.

Answer
From time to time I have patients request not to have 'versed'.  I simply comply without argument.  As a patient is a reasonable to request not to have versed if you believe that it may have a negative impact on you.  Versed is not "absolutely" necessary to provide anesthesia.

It is given routinely to most patients having anesthesia because it serves several purposes: it decreases anxiety for patients as they move from the preoperative period to the OR in preparation for induction and surgery; it decreases the dose of other anesthetics required to induce and maintain anesthesia thus decreasing the likelihood side effects; it decreases greatly the chance of a patient experiencing recall of intraoperative events, as well as facilitating a motionless patient.

However, in elderly patients there is a perception that they may experience post operative delirium at a higher rate if they receive versed than if they don't, at least in the short term period (first 12 hours).

There is certainly no scientific literature to suggest that versed causes cognitive deficits beyond the surgical period.  That does not mean that in some instances it can cause issues. It's just that, to date, no study has been able to prove this.

Modern anesthesiologists have many alternative methods of providing good anesthesia care, and should be able to do so if you respectfully request that no versed be used.

Dr. Russell

Anesthesiology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Rex Russell

Expertise

Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.

Experience

I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Organizations
Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

Education/Credentials
BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.