Pediatric Anesthesiology

An anesthesiologist is a specially trained physician who creates a safe environment for your child so the surgeon can perform the operation. The anesthesiologist gives anesthetic medicine and monitors your child’s medical condition continuously. The anesthetic includes three phases:

  1. Going to sleep

  2. Staying asleep

  3. Waking up

Your child will be anesthetized by a trained anesthesiologist who is on the Swedish medical staff. Your child’s anesthesiologist is usually assigned at 6 p.m. the day before surgery. You will meet your anesthesiologist the day of surgery. The anesthesiologist will ask you about your child’s medical history and talk with you about the anesthetic plan.

How anesthetics are given

Anesthetics may be given intravenously (through a vein) or a may be breathed in through a mask. The anesthesiologist will choose the safest technique for your child, based on the child’s age, personality, past experience and medical conditions.

When anesthetics are given

Most children between 1 and 8 years old having non-emergency surgery often are anesthetized with a parent present. Older children often do better without their parents present. Infants or children who are seriously ill are anesthetized without a parent present. If you have a strong preference, please tell the anesthesiologist before surgery. However, the final decision about your child’s anesthetic plan will be made by the anesthesiologist. Once the child is asleep, you will be taken to the waiting area. Because giving anesthesia is a critical process and your child’s safety is the anesthesiologist’s primary concern, please be aware that you may be asked at any time to leave the room.

Awaking from anesthetics

After the surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room where a pediatric nurse will monitor your child as the effects of the anesthetic wear off and as your child begins to wake up. When your child is awake and medically stable, at least one parent will be allowed in the recovery room.