Patient-controlled sedation was utilized in patients aged 15 to 85 yr who were undergoing surgery under local or regional anesthesia. Midazolam, propofol, and methohexitone were used, either by themselves or in combination with fentanyl or alfentanil. Sedation was mild to moderate in the majority of patients, and operating conditions were good. The sedation method provided patients the ability to control the sedation and to vary the degree of sedation according to the environment and to the stress of the procedure. Sedation of the elderly, which tends to be problematic, was made easy using this method, and the elderly patients appeared to enjoy the option. The problems encountered were oversedation, respiratory depression, pain during injection, and postural hypotension.