Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - childWhat to ask your doctor about anesthesia - child
Your child is scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your child's doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for your child. Below are some questions you may want to ask.
Which type of anesthesia is best for my child and the procedure that my child is having?
- General anesthesia
General anesthesia is treatment with certain medicines that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. After you receive the...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Spinal or epidural anesthesia
Spinal or epidural anesthesia
Spinal and epidural anesthesia are procedures that deliver medicines that numb parts of your body to block pain. They are given through shots in or ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Conscious sedation
Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during a medical or dental procedur...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
When does my child need to stop eating or drinking before the anesthesia? What if my child is breastfeeding?
When do my child and I need to get to the hospital on the day of the surgery? Is the rest of our family allowed to be there too?
If my child is taking the following medicines, what should I do?
- Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), arthritis drugs, vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), or any other medicines that make it hard for the child's blood to clot
- Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other supplements
- Medicines for heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, allergies, or seizures
- Other medicines the child is supposed to take everyday
If my child has asthma, diabetes, seizures, heart disease, or any other medical problems, do I need to do anything special before my child has anesthesia?
Can my child take a tour of the surgery and recovery areas of the hospital before the surgery?
- Will my child be awake or aware of what is happening?
- Will my child feel any pain?
- Will someone be watching to make sure my child is OK?
- How long may I stay with my child?
- How soon will my child wake up?
- When can I see my child?
- How soon before my child can get up and move around?
- How long will my child need to stay?
- Will my child have any pain?
- Will my child have an upset stomach?
- If my child had spinal or epidural anesthesia, will my child have a headache afterwards?
- What if I have more questions after the surgery? Who can I contact?
American Society of Anesthesiologists website. Statement on practice recommendations for pediatric anesthesia. www.asahq.org/standards-and-guidelines/statement-on-practice-recommendations-for-pediatric-anesthesia. Updated October 13, 2021. Accessed December 8, 2022.
Vutskits L, Davidson A. Pediatric anesthesia. In: Gropper MA, ed. Miller's Anesthesia. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap77.
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Review Date: 10/22/2022
Reviewed By: Charles I. Schwartz, MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, General Pediatrician at PennCare for Kids, Phoenixville, PA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.