Kids' bodies are different. Their anesthesia should be, too

anesthesiology 3

Children aren't just small adults. Their bodies react differently to medicine, and they vary a lot more in size and shape, from the teeniest preemie to the tallest teen. So it's crucial for their anesthesia — the medicine used to help patients feel no pain during surgery—to be managed by specialists who understand the unique needs of kids.

At Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, you'll find almost 50 pediatric anesthesiologists who dedicate themselves to keeping young patients comfortable, calm and safe while administering anesthesia that's right for them.

Complete anesthesia services are available for kids undergoing surgery and other procedures. We administer both general anesthesia, which helps kids sleep deeply and feel no pain, and regional anesthesia, which numbs an area of the body. We also provide IV sedation, which helps kids relax or sleep for a procedure. Whatever technique is used, it is always tailored to your child's specific needs.

No pain = more gain

By working closely with the acclaimed surgeons at Children's, the anesthesiology team helps young patients have the best possible surgery experience. Being kid-focused sets us apart:

  • Unique. We manage the whole spectrum of kids' anesthesia needs and tailor the solutions to their situation. Every day, we work with babies, children and teens living with chronic diseases, disabilities, developmental delays and other conditions.
  • Calming. Children often start anesthesia by breathing medicine through a mask. Kids can pick the smell to breathe in the mask, such as strawberry, watermelon or bubble gum. Some also have the chance to fall asleep with twinkling lights before being taken into the operating room.
  • Personal. Before, during and after the procedure, we keep families informed. You may have the option of staying with your child while anesthesia is started. You can soothe your child until the medicine takes effect and be by his or her side as the sedation wears off after the procedure.

At Children's, anesthesiologists also consult with the pain management team to help children control their pain through the use of anesthesia or sedation during invasive procedures — such as bone marrow tests and lumbar punctures.

Reducing the fear factor

Your child's anesthesia team will meet with your family before the surgery or procedure to help all of you prepare. If you're unsure how to explain anesthesia in kid-friendly terms, don't worry, we have experts to help you. Our child life specialists are available to help your child understand and cope with the experience by utilizing age-appropriate strategies.

Knowing what to expect helps make anesthesia less stressful. And at Children's, caring for your child's emotional comfort is another crucial part of what we do.


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