Anesthesia and Kids
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Anesthesia and Kids
My 2 year old needs to undergo a small surgical procedure
(release of trigger thumb) that is normally done with local
anesthesia for adults, but because she needs to stay still they
usually use general anesthesia for toddlers.
I've searched the web for how this is usually administered and
can't find anything. On this site, people have talked about
everything from drops to an IV, and from a friend who had ear
tubes put in his daughter's ear I heard they use a gas mask. Can
anyone enlighten me on this topic? Personal experience,
websites, or ?
thank you for sharing!
I have had two kids go under general anesthesia: my 7 year old had
surgery to put pins in his broken arm, and my 3 year old had open heart
surgery. Both times they were given a fast-acting syrupy medicine in a
cup (similar to valium, but it also provides an amnesiac quality). The
name is escaping me at the moment! We waited until s/he started to feel
drowsy and relaxed, and then they took the child into the operating
theater. It is in the OT thst they are given the gas mask, etc.
I highly, highly recommend you talk to your doctor and/or
anesthesiologist if you have any questions!
It is scary to let them take your child away but those docs really know
what they're doing. Good luck to you!
Been There, Done That
My daughter had surgery twice before she was 2. Both times they sedated
her with gas and when she was asleep they inserted an IV and put her
under. I was able to stay with her until she was asleep. She came
through both times very well and was even up playing within 2 hours of
Our son Nate has had general anesthesia three times in his short life
(he's 2) at Children's Hospital in Oakland. His were minor procedures,
so I imagine your daughter's experience will be similar.
We had to withhold food and water after midnight the night before the
procedures. Since our appointment was quite early, that didn't pose any
Once we got there, they made sure he was healthy and weighed him.
Then, they gave him some versed (sp?), a medication that sedated him
and suppresses memory of the event. We carried him to the room, where
they put a mask over his face--the most traumatic part for us and for
him. Once he was under, we left the room and they put in an IV and
performed the procedure.
After they were done, we could sit by him while we waited for him to
wake up. Nate had no ill effects from the anaesthesia.
Hope that alleviates your anxiety!
My then, 3 year old daughter had six teeth that needed to be capped. Her
dentist, Gary Sabbadini DDS (wonderful man!), recommend she be put to
sleep for the procedure. The dentist office hired a licensed
anesthesiologist, Thomas Lenhart of Bay Area Anesthesia, to perform the
The day before she was scheduled to go in, Dr. Lenhart himself called me
and explained to me how he operated. He told me that he would bring all
of his equipment with him and turn the dentist office into a mini
He was very kind and gentle and very good with my daughter, entertaining
her w/ magic tricks and slight of hand. Then asked my husband to put her
on his lap facing him and give her a hug, meanwhile he gave her a shot
that sedated her. Once the medicine took effect, they carried her into
the dentist room and did the work. They made a very scary situation run
as smoothly as possible. I was completely satisfied and comfortable.
Mother of Two
My 18-month-old son had general anesthesia for an outpatient operation
today at Children's Hospital. It included a combination of things.
First, he received an oral sedative (in the form of syrup) to calm him
and help him forget the day's events. He was already very drowsy when
they put a gas mask on him to make him unconscious (this part was
compared to dental anesthesia). Once asleep, they put in an IV,
breathing tube, etc. for the ''real'' anesthesia, AND he received a
caudal block (sort of like an epidural) for local pain management. He
wasn't awake for any needle pokes at all (and, we even had them draw
blood for a few unrelated tests while he was asleep, to save him a trip
to the lab). I'm sure your doctor can give you very specific
information about your child's anesthesia plan. Though our surgeon,
anesthesiologist, and nursing staff were always pretty rushed, we had
plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get information about the
process. We felt very good about the way things were handled. Best of
luck to you!
My 2 1/4 yr. old just had general anesthesia for a dental procedure (8
cavities! But that's a different post). The anesthesia was
administered by a pediatric anesthesiologist from Children's Hospital in
Oakland, in the dentist's office. We were very happy with how it all
went (well, as happy as you can be when your toddler has to go under).
I'll tell you what he did, but I also advise you to call the
anesthesiologist at your hospital and ask them their procedure. You can
also call the Children's Anesthesia Medical Group at (925) 284-5049 to
speak with someone there.
Here's what ours did:
- gave our son a nasal spray with some kind of valium-like drug first,
to relax him. This drug also had amnestic qualities so my son would NOT
remember this experience later. My son didn't like it at first, but
within a few minutes was relaxed and happy.
- Then they took him into the procedure room. He was laid down, and
while the anesthesiologist prepped the IV, I cooed to my son and
reassured him. Meanwhile, another dr. placed a gas mask over his face.
Because of the valium stuff, and my presence, he did not protest too
much. He was out in a few minutes.
- I left the room during the procedure!
- Afterward, in about an hour, they brought him to me very sleepy. He
slowly woke up, and was pretty miserable for a few hours. After these
few hours, and a popsicle, he was happier. He was unsteady on his feet
for at least another hour after that.
It all went much better than I expected. Good luck to you.
My son had surgery on his hand at 11 mos. He underwent general
anesthesia as part of the procedure. It was a scary idea for me, but I
would say in the end that it wasn't that big of a deal. He was
intubated, so when he cried anytime in the next 24 hours or so, his
voice was husky, which kind of got to me. He was flushed and just coming
out of the anesthesia when we went to the recovery room, but within an
hour he was stable and lucid and we went home. Good luck with your
My 22 month old son just had a minor surgery at Children's and had
general anesthesia. It was really easy, quick, and he was fine a few
hours later. First they gave him a sedative which made him spacey and
happy, he didn't care when the surgeon carried him off, then they
administered the general through an IV. We were with him as soon as he
was out of the operating room adn with him when he woke up. He was
groggy for a couple hours, a little fussy, he did throw up when he had
some milk, but after about 3 hours was back to normal. Big relief.
We just had my 22 month old's adenoids out under general anesthesia at
Children's Hospital, Oakland, outpatient wing.
She was first given an oral sedative which made her initially very loopy
(i.e. silly and acting drunk) and then very drowsy.
We were able to stay with her up to the point of her receiving the mask
for the general anesthesia. Because of the initial sedative, this was
not at all traumatic for her, she was almost asleep anyway. It may not
be pleasant for the PARENT to see (I was OK with it, my husband was less
so) but she was not in any distress at that point. She was quite
unhappy and inconsolable coming OUT of the anesthesia. We were allowed
to be with her pretty immediately upon her waking. We were told that
itcan be quite disorienting for the children at this stage, and/or she
might have been in pain from the surgery. She was given some Morphine
which settled her down pretty quicklyand after sleeping she woke up much
more easily. We saw other children come and go in recovery with no
problems at all. You may see many more anectdotes of experiences with
general anesthesia in regards to tonsills/adenoids, because this is how
it is done for the children and this is a common surgery. Good luck...
My daughter, now 5-1/2, has been under general anesthesia many times for
diagnostic and minor surgical procedures. One thing that is CRITICAL is
to schedule your surgery for as early in the morning as possible because
you will have to withhold food and drink from something like 8 pm the
night before, and it's a nightmare to be sitting in the check-in area
for however ridiculously long they will inevitably make you wait with a
sustenance-deprived young one ! I made the mistake once of giving my
daughter a lollypop to stop her crying, thinking that it wouldn't count
as solid food, only to have the anesthesiologist refuse to continue and
insist I reschedule the whole @#@$% ordeal. Live and learn...
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