What is conscious sedation? I'm going to have some back surgery on my lumbar discs and the doctor mentioned this.

Conscious sedation means you are awake but calm and free of fear or anxiety. This type of sedation occurs with the use of oral sedative agents. The result is to reduce pain and discomfort. The patient is able to speak and respond to any requests made by the surgeon. If any pain occurs the patient is able to report changes to the surgeon.

Conscious sedation is used when minor operations are performed. In the case of disc surgery, sometimes the surgeon needs to know if the nerve is being touched or pressed. The patient is awake and alert enough to report any increased pain sensation.

In deep sedation the patient is unable to breathe without help and unable to respond to physical stimulation or verbal commands. A general anesthetic given intravenously is used to achieve this state.