Whenever a child needs surgery, the preparation process starts well before the day of the procedure, especially since anesthesia is likely involved. One of the first things that should happen is a conversation with the pediatric anesthesiologist to understand what can be expected and what’s recommended to prepare your kid for the procedure. Here’s an overview of what will likely occur.
Within a few weeks of sedation, the pediatrician will schedule a physical exam. In addition to the exam, the appointment will include gathering information about your child’s medical history. There needs to be a clear understanding of any issues that could pose a problem during sedation. If you are seeing a new doctor, it might be prudent to provide a copy of your child’s medical history. This appointment will enable the pediatrician to make a determination about whether or not they can move forward with the procedure.
You will likely be asked to bring your child’s favorite stuffed animal, blanket or toy on surgery day. This will be used as a form of comfort while your kid is being taken to the operating room. You will have plenty of time to communicate with the anesthesiologist and get any questions that you have answered.
On the day of the procedure, if not in advance, you will have a discussion with the anesthesiologist regarding the different options for administering anesthesia. One of the options will be pre-medication, which is used to help children feel more relaxed before heading into the operating room. You will also have a discussion about how the pre-medicine will be administered. The most common method is a drink, but you can also choose an injection or a tablet. Before pre-medication is administered, there will be a short examination to check your child’s weight, pulse, breathing, temperature and blood pressure.
Methods for Administering Anesthesia
One of the methods for administering anesthesia is breathing it through a mask that goes over the mouth and nose. Another option is through an IV. While most parents feel uncomfortable about choosing the IV method, it’s important to understand that devices used for IVs are not like they were in the past. Most children do not experience any pain when an IV is used for anesthesia.
You will more than likely accompany your child into the operating room. This is allowed for obvious reasons, but primarily because parents are able to comfort their children before a procedure. Being in a room that’s unfamiliar can cause anxiety, which is something that should be mitigated before sedation. The medical team will determine how long you can stay.