Preparing for Anesthesia
The anesthesiologists often have younger children breathe their anesthesia through a mask to fall asleep for their surgery.
Older children and adolescents will often be given anesthesia through an intravenous catheter, also called an I.V. The I.V. is a very small plastic tube that will be inserted into a vein with a needle. If your child needs an I.V. before going to sleep, a numbing cream can be used for the procedure.
Children that need emergency surgery or that have certain medical conditions may need to have an I.V. placed before going to sleep.
Whether or not your child has an I.V. to initially receive their anesthesia, an I.V. will most likely be placed after they are asleep. The I.V. may remain in place until your child is ready to go home, in case we need to use it to give them medication or fluids.
Your child’s anesthesiologist will discuss the specifics of what anesthesia they will receive and how your child will receive the anesthesia. Their decision is always based on what is safest for your child.