Digital images projected on the ceiling are used to help the patient relax.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
General anesthesia is most commonly used. In this form of anesthesia, medication is given to make the person unconscious. Some operations allow us to use regional anesthetics injected locally to block painful sensations during and after the procedure.
How safe is anesthesia?
No medical procedure--and very few normal daily activities--are risk-free, but anesthesia is remarkably safe. Because the needs of children undergoing surgery are different from those of adult patients, all our anesthesiologists have received years of specialized training to provide the best possible care for pediatric patients.
While our techniques and preparation limit risk, no anesthetic procedure is considered routine. Heart and lung function, blood circulation, oxygenation, and body temperature are constantly monitored, and we are prepared for any allergic or unanticipated reactions to medication. Each patient is treated as an individual and is given undivided attention.
What medicines are used during anesthesia?
The class of drugs known as volatile agents or anesthetic gases is most commonly used as the anesthetic foundation: halothane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane. They provide deep sleep and pain relief.
To this foundation, other pain medications may be added, such as morphine or fentanyl; and muscle relaxants, such as rocuronium or pancuronium. Other medications may be administered, depending on the clinical requirements of the child.
Can I stay with my child as she falls asleep?
Usually, yes. At Children’s Surgery Center parents may almost always be with their children during the beginning stages of anesthesia. Sometimes, though, safety concerns or the nature of the surgery make the ideal impossible.
Will an anesthesiologist be present for the duration of my child’s surgery?
Yes. An experienced anesthesiologist will provide for the anesthetic needs of your child throughout the operation. At no time is a patient left on her own.
Is it going to hurt?
Fear of pain affects everyone, child or adult, who is about to undergo surgery. Reassuring your child that everyone at the hospital understands her fear, and that the anesthesiologist is there specifically to make sure she is comfortably asleep during the whole procedure can help reduce some of your child’s anxiety.
Your child’s physical and emotional comfort are paramount. We very rarely give injections, start IVs, or perform any other uncomfortable procedures on children while they are awake. Your child will first fall asleep while breathing oxygen mixed with anesthetic gas, ideally with you at her side for support.