Is anesthesia safe for children?

Some surgeries or diseases may put your child at a higher risk for anesthesia complications. Before surgery, you will have a chance to discuss your concerns with your child’s anesthesia team.

Minor risks of anesthesia can be common. They include:

  • Feeling sick or vomiting after surgery
  • Having a sore throat, trouble swallowing, or sore teeth or lips if a breathing tube was used
  • Feeling pain or having bruises in the arm where the IV was placed
  • Bruising or redness on the skin or some numbness. This can happen from the pressure of lying down during surgery. This usually does not last after the hospital stay.
  • Having a backache or headache after spinal or epidural anesthesia

How do you keep kids comfortable?

Pain is managed with medications given by the anesthesia care team that either put a child into a deep sleep or relax the child and block pain during a medical procedure.

Why is it important for my child not to eat or drink anything before his or her surgery?

It is best to give anesthesia on an empty stomach to avoid the small chance of vomiting during surgery. If any vomit goes into your child’s lungs, it could cause serious problems. Read the anesthesia eating and drinking guidelines.

Can I go into the operating/procedure room with my child?

This is up to the anesthesiologist and surgeon. You may request to be with your child, but it may not always be possible due to safety reasons.

What if my child is sick before surgery?

Please call the anesthesia pre-surgical evaluation clinic at 1-319-353-6684.

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