Anesthesiologists are experts who provide comfort, pain relief and medical care before, during and after a procedure. Phoenix Children’s pediatric anesthesiologists are specially trained to provide anesthesia to children from birth to age 18, as well as adults who live with pediatric conditions. 

Our anesthesiologists are involved in the entire surgery or procedure process. From assessing the patient’s medical history and unique needs, to planning and administering anesthetic through staying with the patient until they have safely recovered from the effects of anesthesia, we provide expertise, supervision and critical care. Sometimes, we care for the patient for several days after surgery, to ensure optimal recovery and pain control.

Anesthesia services are always customized to the patient’s unique needs, including dosage, type of anesthetic and choice of oral or intravenous application. Whether the patient requires general anesthesia for a major surgery or sedation drugs in advance of an imaging procedure, our one goal is their safety and comfort.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Expert Care

All attending anesthesiologists at Phoenix Children’s specialize in pediatrics. This means they have received additional training beyond residency to specialize in the care of infants and children. Many are also trained in pain medicine and pediatric critical care.

Pediatric anesthesia fellows are physician anesthesiologists who completed their residencies and are receiving advanced training in pediatric anesthesiology. Resident anesthesiologists from the University of Arizona and Mayo Clinic spend several months at Phoenix Children’s under the supervision of our faculty. Residents are physicians who are pursuing additional training. 

Rounding out our team is a group of nurse practitioners and psychologists who work on our acute and chronic pain services.