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Pediatric Anesthesia Introduction

Understanding Anesthesia

Anesthesiologists are dedicated to relieving pain and caring for patients before, during, and after surgery. There are three main types of anesthesia used during surgery: General Anesthesia, Monitored Anesthesia Care and Local Anesthesia.

General Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness or sensation. Usually, intravenous (IV) medications are given to initiate this state. An alternative is to fall asleep by inhaling anesthesia gases prior to placement of an IV. A breathing tube may be placed to protect your lungs and help breathe for you while you are asleep. There are a number of anesthetic medications that are given through an IV or through a breathing tube that keep you asleep, comfortable and provide for pain control when you awaken. Ideally a general anesthetic is combined with local anesthesia to provide optimal pain control.

In this type of anesthesia, sedation is given in your IV while your surgeon injects numbing medication into the surgical area. Since various degrees of IV sedation can be provided, you and your anesthesiologist can plan for the level of sedation you desire. Various terms are utilized to describe this spectrum of anesthesia such such as minimal, moderate or deep sedation. Infrequently, a MAC does not provide optimal conditions for the surgical procedure. At these times a general anesthetic is usually the back-up plan assuming the setting is appropriate for a patients health status.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)

Local Anesthesia

local anesthesia is an injection of medicine that numbs a small area of the body. You will be awake and alert, and you may feel some pressure, but you should not feel pain in the area being treated.