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University of Colorado Denver


The oocyte retrieval is a surgical procedure performed in the operating room. A nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist will be present to give you medication to make the procedure painless. On the day of your oocyte retrieval you will meet with the anesthesiologist in the preop holding area and review the risks and benefits of the anesthesia.

Conscious sedation is a unique method of pain control. It reduces pain and produces a trance-like state. Conscious sedation is useful for short procedures that are painful, such as an oocyte retrieval. This method is safe and lasts only a short time making recovery time quick. Medicine to stop pain and cause you to “forget” the procedure will be given during the “conscious sedation” procedure.

How is this procedure performed?
The medications used for conscious sedation are given through a shot into an intravenous line, or IV. An IV is a thin tube that is usually placed into one of the veins of the forearm or hand. The medication quickly takes effect. The primary medication used is called propofol (Diprivan). Propofol (Diprivan) produces a trance-like state in about 1 to 5 minutes. Often other medications are added to the IV such as Versed (Midazolam) during the sedation process. Versed is a Valium-like medication. Additional doses of medication can be given if the procedure is painful or takes longer than expected. The individual's eyes may be open during the procedure, but she is in a daze and feels no pain.

What happens right after the procedure?
A person who has had conscious sedation usually does not remember the procedure. Most people feel back to normal within 1 hour. However, someone else must drive the person home because the medications can impair coordination and reflexes for several hours after the procedure.

What happens later at home?
Once at home the woman may have effects as a result of the procedure, but usually not as a result of the medication used for conscious sedation.

What are the potential complications after the procedure?
Problems are rare, although allergic reactions to the anesthesia are possible. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently issued a warning about the potential side effects and interactions of herbal remedies with medications used before, during, and after surgery. The group recommends discontinuing all herbal remedies and supplements at least 2 weeks before planned surgery.

University of Colorado Denver
Advanced Reproductive Medicine

Anschutz Medical Campus Office
Location: 1635 Aurora Court, Aurora, CO 80045
Mailing: PO Box 6510, Mail Stop F701, Aurora, CO 80045
Tel: 720.848.1690
Toll-free: 1.888.899.7441
Fax: 720.848.1678
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Colorado Springs, CO 80920
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