Anesthesia is the delivery of medicine to prevent pain during surgery and other medical or dental procedures. Depending on the procedure, children could receive one of the following types of anesthesia: local, regional and general.
- Local anesthesia numbs the part of the body being worked on. Typically, a needle is used to inject the medicine into the skin. The child remains awake during the procedure.
- Regional anesthesia numbs a larger part of the body like an arm or leg. An anesthesiologist injects the medicine into a group of nerves so that patients no longer feel pain. The child remains awake but may be given medication to make him/her sleepy and less anxious.
- General anesthesia temporarily puts children to sleep, so they don't feel pain during surgery. Medicine may be administered through a gas mask, breathing tube or vein.
Virtua provides anesthesiologists who are specially trained to care for children. They use the same methods for controlling pain as an adult anesthesiologist, but their training includes an additional six months to a year of working with children. Because of their additional training, they are able to address the fears of children and their parents.
At Virtua, pediatric anesthesiologists are an integral part of the pediatric surgical team, and they're available round-the-clock. In general, pediatric anesthesiologists provide the following services:
- Pre-surgery medical evaluation
- Pain control before, during and after surgery through various methods
- Anesthesia or sedation for procedures such as MRIs or CT scans