Pediatric Anesthesia at the Surgecenter
Anesthesia is a state of freedom from pain during surgery. The two most commonly used types are general and regional. A general anesthetic is a deep sleep caused by drugs given to the whole body. A regional (or local) anesthetic provides a loss of sensation, or numbness, to a specific region of the body.
Members of the PAMF Anesthesia Department administer all general anesthetics. The staff consists of board-certified physicians(anesthesiologists) specializing in anesthesia.
For your comfort and information, the following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding pediatric anesthesia.
Will my child get a shot before surgery?
Probably not. At the present time, sedation is usually given before surgery in the form of a liquid to swallow, rather than by injection. There are some exceptions. Medication may be given by injection or it may be omitted entirely in some cases.
How is the anesthesia given?
The induction (start of anesthesia) is accomplished by inhaling non-irritating medicated air delivered through a mask placed over the nose and mouth. After three or four minutes, your child will be asleep.
When and where will my child awaken?
After surgery, your child will be transported to the Surgecenter recovery room for close observation and care. Nurses who are trained in this phase of surgery will provide specialized care. The anesthesiologist will also monitor your child's progress. Your child may awaken quickly or may sleep for what seems like a long time. This is not unusual, as each child reacts differently to anesthesia. Once your child is awake, you will be able to stay with your child until he/she is ready to leave the recovery room.
Will my child vomit after the operation?
Our anesthesiologists are trained to make the anesthesia experience as comfortable as possible for your child. Their expertise, coupled with the use of new anesthetic agents and anti-nausea medications, will greatly reduce your child's risk of vomiting after surgery.
How long will the effects of anesthesia last?
Your child may be sleepy and somewhat unsteady part of the day. There are exceptions to this, but most children will require more rest than usual. You will receive more information about activity restrictions with your discharge instructions.
What other problems might I expect from the anesthesia?
If a breathing tube was inserted, there may be a sore throat or hoarseness for a few days.
Intravenous lines are placed in almost all children after they are asleep, and there may be a puncture mark or bruise where the needle was removed.
Will I be able to talk to an anesthesiologist?
Yes. An anesthesiologist will review the preoperative assessment with you just prior to surgery to discuss the anesthesia and answer any questions you might have. If you have concerns about your child's anesthesia and would like to speak to an anesthesiologist prior to the day of surgery, contact the Surgecenter at 650-324-1832.