Does your baby or child need to undergo surgery?
It’s probably the most dreadful thought a parent could encounter; finding out that their child needs to undergo surgery. Often times parents are left to make difficult decisions without having complete information about the anesthesia risks and the process of what to expect during surgery.
1) Do you know how to take care of children? This is my baby!
Your Anesthesiologist is an expert in their field; your child will be monitored and will be in the hands of people who can handle emergencies
2) What can I expect when my child goes off to sleep?
The process of a child going to sleep involves several stages of Anesthesia, and it tends to be more traumatic for the parents than for the child. Expect your child to cry, to appear to fight, and sometimes a child’s eyes roll back as they fall asleep. This is routine and not of much concern. Be prepared to be strong and hold your child’s hand or trust that the Anesthesiologist has left everything but your child’s care behind and will be there 100% of the time
3) Will my child know what’s going on?
Not only are Anesthesiologists able to premedicate if needed depending on your child’s personality and medical condition, but even without premedication, the induction of Anesthesia is fast and young children do not remember. Most importantly, if the Anesthesiologist knows about your child prior to the day of surgery, care can be individualized even more.
4) How do they wake up?
Children wake up in a state called “emergence delirium”. They may fight, cry and not recognize their surroundings for several minutes after surgery. Be prepared, its not pain, its confusion. Until the child is fully awake remain calm and try not to stimulate your baby, they will wake up and begin to recognize you in minutes. Talking extensively with an Anesthesiologist prior to the day of surgery will help you know what to expect and what medications can help, if any.
5) Will my child be in pain??
Every surgery can cause pain. The goal of the Anesthesiologist is not only to minimize pain but to eliminate pain and nausea. Discuss this not only with the Surgeon, but consider how much a consult preoperatively with an Anesthesiologist will relieve your anxiety.
If you wish to have your questions answered by a board certified Anesthesiologist, please feel free to make an appointment and they will sit one on one with you to answer any questions you may have. Surgery is a serious endeavor, and fortunately with the advances of modern medicine, the outcomes have improved. However it is best to stay informed and know what to expect, and be prepared so you can ask the right questions and be in control of the situation.