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Outpatient Surgery (cont.)

Special Cases: Children

For parents or caregivers, surgery performed on their children is much more stressful than if they were having surgery performed on themselves. In these instances, speaking to the anesthesiologist regarding the anesthetic plan is even more important. Children benefit significantly from surgery in the outpatient setting because it decreases separation from their family and the home.

  • A parent or other responsible adult must accompany all children.

  • Many surgery centers sedate a child in the waiting room to help with anxiety.

  • A parent may be invited into the operating room with the child for the first part of anesthesia to comfort the child in this strange environment. If a parent is unable to do this, someone else might be available to assist if possible. If invited into the operating room, the parent must remain calm to keep from alarming the child.

  • Children often inhale anesthetic gases as they go to sleep. Every child is different. Some go to sleep quietly, and others cry and try to fight the anesthesia.

  • Once the child is asleep, doctors insert an IV and begin the surgical procedure.

  • The adult is reunited with the child early in the recovery period to provide comfort and added security—for both of them. Children must also meet discharge criteria before they can be sent home.

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