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Total IV Anesthesia

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Total IV Anesthesia



Total IV anesthesia (TIVA) is a type of general anesthesia. Medicine is passed into a vein during surgery.

Reasons for Procedure

TIVA is done to put a person to sleep, block pain, and relax muscles. It acts faster on the body than gas anesthesia. TIVA also has a shorter recovery time and lower risk of problems.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Allergic reaction to medicine
  • Breathing problems
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations or vivid dreams

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Lasting nausea or vomiting
  • Lasting headache
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Confusion or memory problems

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Anesthesia: What is anesthesia? National Institute of General Medical Sciences website. Available at: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/anesthesia.aspx.
  • Procedural sedation and analgesia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-review/procedural-sedation-and-analgesia-in-adults.
  • Total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) EBME website. Available at: https://www.ebme.co.uk/articles/clinical-engineering/total-intravenous-anaesthesia-tiva.
  • Types of anesthesia. John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/surgical_care/types_of_anesthesia_and_your_anesthesiologist_85,P01391.


  • Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.