Children undergoing surgery, invasive diagnostic procedures, and some imaging tests and radiologic interventions may require anesthesia to block sensations in areas of the body that would otherwise experience pain or severe discomfort. Connecticut Children’s board certified and fellowship trained anesthesiologists have advanced knowledge and expertise in providing anesthesia to infants, children and adolescents. We consider several factors to determine if a child needs anesthesia and what type of anesthesia to offer, such as:
- The location of the test or procedure on the body
- The amount of pain or discomfort expected during the test or procedure
- The length of time it takes to perform the test or procedure
- The child’s medical condition
- The child’s age, height, weight and development level
- Medications the child is taking
- Previous reactions to anesthesia by the child or family members
Under general anesthesia, your child will appear deeply asleep and will not sense even the most severe pain. Special monitoring equipment is used to ensure that your child’s respiratory and cardiovascular activity remain stable until your child returns to a normal state following the medical procedure.
Regional anesthesia blocks the sensation of feeling, including pain, in a certain part of the body such as an arm or leg. Unlike a child under general anesthesia, your child remains awake and maintains normal consciousness and motor skills in other areas of the body.
Local anesthesia eliminates sensation in only a small part of the body, such as an area of the skin. Local anesthesia might be applied to the surface of the skin or injected in the area of the procedure to achieve temporary insensitivity to pain.
Your child’s safety and comfort is the priority of Connecticut Children’s anesthesiologists. The anesthesiologist on your child’s care team will be present at all stages of a planned surgery or procedure, beginning with the pre-op assessment where the team will coordinate the specific anesthetic needs and answer any questions you may have. Once the anesthesiologist administers the appropriate medicine, your child will remain closely monitored. When the procedure is complete, the anesthesiologist will stop administering the anesthesia and help your child recover to his or her pre-anesthesia state.