Associates, Ltd.
301 S. 7th Ave., Suite 235
West Reading, PA 19611
(484) 628-8589
Billing: (484) 628-5134

When your child needs an operation, you often have extra concerns. This section will attempt to answer some of the most common questions about pediatric anesthesia.

All of our anesthesiologists have been trained in pediatric anesthesia, and several of our physicians have additional specialized training and interest. We recognize the unique needs of children and are prepared to help them, and you, to be comfortable and relaxed during your child's visit and operation.

During your pre-anesthesia interview, we assess not only your child's health but also their maturity. We will discuss with you, and when appropriate with your child, the options available. Frequently, we do not need to do pre-operative blood testing on healthy children.

You will receive instructions about pre-operative eating and drinking at the pre-anesthesia interview at Reading Hospital, or by telephone from the Surgery Centers.

Many children bring a soft toy or favorite blanket with them the day of their operation.

Frequently children are concerned about whether they will get a "shot" on the day of surgery. Some children are sufficiently relaxed about surgery that no pre-anesthetic medication needs to be given, especially for short operations and at Surgery Centers. For those children who do need pre-anesthetic medication, this can often be administered orally. If a child cannot or prefers not to take oral medication, injections can be ordered. The advantages and disadvantages of each are:

  • choosing no pre-anesthetic medication avoids a "shot" but the child will be fully awake going into the operating room - the child often wakes up more rapidly after their operation - this works well if the child and parents are comfortable with this option
  • oral pre-anesthetic medication also avoids a "shot" and usually provides excellent sedation and separation from parents, but may make the child more sleepy or irritable in the post-anesthesia care area - this is a common option for younger children
  • injected pre-anesthetic medication works quickly, usually provides excellent sedation and wears off more quickly, but it is a "shot" - some older children prefer this option

Your child will then come to the operating room. At this time, we will ask you to wait in the waiting room. We believe not having parents present for the actual anesthesia allows our staff to concentrate fully on your child.

Once in the operating room, we apply monitoring devices and then begin anesthesia. In most young children, this will be accomplished by having the child breathe some "magic air" through a clear mask. It usually takes only a couple of minutes to fall asleep. Except for a few procedures, we then start an IV which will be present when the child awakens.

Some older children prefer to receive IV medication rather than breathe through the mask. We commonly apply a local anesthetic cream to the child's hands or inject local anesthesia to numb the area where the IV will be started.

Depending on the operation, we may need to insert a breathing device while the child is asleep. This may cause a scratchy throat or cough after anesthesia.

Once the operation is complete, the anesthetic medications will be stopped and your child will begin to wake up. When we move to the post-anesthetic area, one parent of any pre-teen child will be called so that you can stay with your child.

After your child is safely awake and comfortable, discharge preparations will begin. We will offer your child liquids to drink and provide parents with written post-operative instructions. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have before leaving for home.

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