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(Credit: Deborah)

You feel relaxed and pain-free, not groggy and nauseous and that’s safer for the procedure and the recovery according to Dr. George Heyrich, director of structural heart disease and interventional cardiology at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. He says doctors are now using conscious sedation, or twilight sedation, instead of general anesthesia for certain patients undergoing TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

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Dr. Heyrich says it’s safer for patients when general anesthesia is not being used because patients are not put on a ventilator and remain awake during the procedure. He says patients are more comfortable and recovery time is faster with patients going home sooner, perhaps the next day.

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This twilight sedation is not for everyone. Patients must have clear airways and morbidly obese patients would not be good candidates. An anesthesiologist would do a risk assessment on the patient and make a decision on which type of sedation is best for that procedure and patient.

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