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Overview of procedural sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy

Jonathan Cohen, MD
Section Editors
John R Saltzman, MD, FACP, FACG, FASGE, AGAF
Girish P Joshi, MB, BS, MD, FFARCSI
Deputy Editor
Kristen M Robson, MD, MBA, FACG


The development of gastrointestinal endoscopy has greatly expanded the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of gastroenterologists. Adequate patient tolerance is essential for the successful completion of a safe examination and compliance with subsequent follow-up. As a result, endoscopists have developed skills in administering a variety of sedative and analgesic agents to facilitate procedures and enhance patient comfort.

This topic review will focus on standard methods of procedural sedation. Adverse events related to sedation, issues related to endoscopic procedures without sedation, and the management of patients who are difficult to sedate are discussed elsewhere. (See "Adverse events related to procedural sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy" and "Sedation-free gastrointestinal endoscopy" and "Alternatives and adjuncts to moderate procedural sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy".)


All patients undergoing gastrointestinal endoscopy should be assessed with a history and physical examination prior to administering sedation to identify factors that increase the risk of an adverse outcome. (See "Adverse events related to procedural sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy".)

The history should determine if any of the following are present:

Significant cardiac or pulmonary disease

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 16, 2017.
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