When your child requires surgery, general anesthesia is used to eliminate awareness and sensation of the procedure.   

At Children’s Hospital, our pediatric anesthesiologists have specialized training in caring for your child that involves the entire surgical experience. Our specialists manage all aspects of care before, during and immediately after surgery. Our experts understand that anesthesia plays a critical role in both your child’s treatment and recovery.

Working closely with families to coordinate care

Part of our pediatric anesthesia team's job is to communicate clearly and effectively with your child and your family. Our overall goal is to provide family-centered care to all patients on the day of surgery. We take the time to fully explain any health care recommendations and, with the help of our Perioperative Child Life Specialist, prepare children and families for their operative experience.

At MU Health Care, we believe it is important for children to have a trusted family member by their side, so we involve parents in the care of their children as much as possible. 

Anesthesiology and pain management for children

All the pediatric specialists at Children’s Hospital recognize that children are not small adults. We know children are growing and changing in unique ways. Their bodies’ proportions and unique physiology require a health care team skilled in dealing with specific pediatric health care needs. Anesthesiology is no exception.

When your child undergoes anesthesia, our care team must address certain considerations. Some of your child’s unique features that impact how our specialists administer anesthesia include:

  • They are still growing. Both their bodies and their brains are changing.
  • They can vary dramatically in size. Young infants benefit by being cared for by pediatric anesthesiologists.
  • Their heart and breathing systems are significantly different than adults. These systems require specialized attention while a child is undergoing anesthesia.
  • They may not deal with anesthetic medications in the same way adults do.
  • Some children have uncommon disorders not seen in adults. We provide them with the highly specialized care they require.

Administering anesthesia to children also necessitates the immediate availability of different sizes and types of equipment. Our team has full access to advanced technical and medical equipment, made just the right size for children of all ages.

Experts in perioperative care

Our pediatric anesthesiologists are trained in all aspects of perioperative (before, during and after surgery) care. This includes:

  • Preoperative assessment
  • Determining fitness for surgery
  • Management of anesthesia during surgery
  • Post-operative care

Our team also has expertise in managing critically ill patients as well as treating post-operative and chronic pain.

Anesthesia for intensive care

As a part of our exceptional pediatric care, we give individual attention to our tiniest patients — babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Because of their size and many health complications, we make certain these children have access to our pediatric anesthesiologists whenever their condition requires anesthesia. Our team is always on-call to provide around-the-clock, personalized care to our NICU patients.