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Anesthesiology Procedures: What to Expect


If your child is going to have surgery or a procedure at Phoenix Children’s, our anesthesia team will work with you and your family to bring about a successful treatment and a speedy recovery for your child. 

Before Your Child’s Procedure

First, we will first review your child's medical record and details of the operation or procedure. Members of our team will meet with you and your child to ask questions about your child's medical history. We will explain which anesthetic we plan to use during your child’s treatment and answer any questions you may have.

We will also help you understand what to expect from your child’s treatment, and how to prepare to help bring about the best possible result. For example, we will ask that your child maintains an empty stomach prior to receiving anesthesia. It is very important to follow these rules. If your child’s stomach is not empty at the time of anesthesia, stomach contents can come up and enter the lungs (called aspiration) and may cause serious problems. Your child’s surgery may be rescheduled if you’re not able to comply with these requirements. 

If needed, we may prepare a separation plan that involves games, distraction techniques or a member of our Child Life team to ease any anxiety your child may feel as they prepare for care. A planned separation before a surgery or procedure can help calm your and your child’s nerves and manage your emotions, as well as facilitate an easier entrance into treatment.

During Your Child’s Procedure

Your child’s customized anesthesia plan will be administered orally (by mouth), intravenously (by injection) or inhaled. If general anesthesia is not needed, we may place nerve blocks or catheters using the latest imaging technology to anesthetize specific areas of the body to provide pain relief after the procedure has been completed. 

Your anesthesiologist will monitor your child throughout this process, ensuring their comfort and safety. During your child’s medical experience, the physician will keep track of their blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, heart function and levels of anesthetic in their system. Your anesthesiologist will also supervise your child as they emerge from sedation or medication, until they are fully awake. 

After Your Child’s Procedure

In some cases, additional medical review and supervision may be needed as your child recovers from surgery. Our anesthesiologists will work with your family to manage any discomfort that may arise. 

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