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Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - child

Definition

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.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about anesthesia - child

Questions

BEFORE ANESTHESIA

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

  • General anesthesia
  • Spinal or epidural anesthesia
  • Conscious sedation

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 medications, 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 any thing 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 okay?
  • 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?

Review Date: 11/12/2012
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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