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Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - child

Your child is scheduled to have a surgery or procedure. You will need to talk with your child's doctor about the type of anesthesia that will be best for your child. Below are some questions you may want to ask.



Which type of anesthesia is best for my child and the procedure that my child is having?

When does my child need to stop eating or drinking before the anesthesia? What if my child is breastfeeding?

When do my child and I need to get to the hospital on the day of the surgery? Is the rest of our family allowed to be there too?

If my child is taking the following medicines, what should I do?

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), other arthritis drugs, vitamin E, warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for the child's blood to clot
  • Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other supplements
  • Medicines for heart problems, lung problems, diabetes, allergies, or seizures
  • Other medicines the child is supposed to take everyday

If my child has asthma, diabetes, seizures, heart disease, or any other medical problems, do I need to do any thing special before my child has anesthesia?

Can my child take a tour of the surgery and recovery areas of the hospital before the surgery?


  • Will my child be awake or aware of what is happening?
  • Will my child feel any pain?
  • Will someone be watching to make sure my child is ok?
  • How long may I stay with my child?


  • How soon will my child wake up?
  • When can I see my child?
  • How soon before my child can get up and move around?
  • How long will my child need to stay?
  • Will my child have any pain?
  • Will my child have an upset stomach?
  • If my child had spinal or epidural anesthesia, will my child have a headache afterwards?
  • What if I have more questions after the surgery? Who can I contact?

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about anesthesia - child


American Society of Anesthesiologists. Statement on practice recommendations for pediatric anesthesia. Available at: www.asahq.org/For-Members/~/media/For%20Members/Standards%20and%20Guidelines/2012/STATEMENT%20ON%20PRACTICE%20RECOMMENDATIONS%20FOR%20PEDIATRIC%20ANESTHESIA.ashx. Accessed November 20, 2014.

Cote CJ, Lerman J, Anderson BJ. A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013.

Update Date 11/20/2014

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