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Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - child
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Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - child

What 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.

I Would Like to Learn About:

Questions

BEFORE ANESTHESIA

Which type of anesthesia is best for my child and the procedure that my child is having?

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), other arthritis drugs, vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs 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?

DURING ANESTHESIA

  • 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?

AFTER ANESTHESIA

  • 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?

Related Information

Scoliosis
Conscious sedation for surgical procedures
General anesthesia
Spinal and epidural anesthesia

References

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 26, 2016. Accessed November 20, 2018.

Cote CJ. Pediatric anesthesia. In: Miller RD, ed. Miller's Anesthesia. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 93.

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Review Date: 10/11/2018  

Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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