Despite what wikipedia says. There is no such thing as “twilight anesthesia.” Whoever says otherwise is an idiot and ignorant. Using that term leads to a misunderstanding of how anesthesia works.
Many patients come into surgery asking me for twilight anesthesia which their surgeon told them about. First off, each medical specialities should refrain in speaking on behalf of other medical specialities. It creates doubts in the patient’s minds when there is a conflict of information.
These patients expect the following from twilight anesthesia-
memory loss of the experience
be completely unaware of the surgery
no pain during or sensation of pressure during the surgery
While all of these things might happen with twilight, if this is what is expected, the only way to accomplish this is with General Anesthesia. General anesthesia is the only way to actually achieve the above mentioned items time and again. There is no guarantee that it will occur with twilight.
Twilight anesthesia is actually conscious sedation. It means that the person may come in and out during the procedure and may occasionally see, hear, and feel things. Example, most colonoscopies are done under conscious sedation also known as Moderate Anesthesia Care. Most patients have no recollection of their colonoscopy which is great, but it can never be guaranteed unless the procedure is done with general anesthesia. And general anesthesia is generally not needed for a colonoscopy.
As a nation we need to stop being so fearful of medical procedures. Conscious sedation is a great alternative to general anesthesia and leads to faster recovery from anesthesia with less side effects. You just have to accept the fact that you may come in and out of the procedure. Guess what….that is ok! And as I mentioned before, most people don’t remember anything anyways!!!!