We're honored that you've chosen The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) for your child's surgery. No matter how simple or complex your child's operation will be, we understand how you may feel: No procedure is small when it's your child, and we want you to know that your child is in good hands. Our Pediatric Anesthesia team preforms thousands of procedures a year at NYEE.
Our Pediatric Anesthesia team will provide your child's care and do everything possible to make their experience safe, convenient and comfortable. When it's finally time for your child's surgery, you and your child-as well as the rest of the family-may be nervous and fearful. Knowing what to expect can help you deal with the anxiety everyone is feeling. Here, we've gathered information about what you and your child can expect with regards to anesthesia when they have surgery at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. We hope it will help your family as your child goes through the surgical process.
After you and your child have been checked in at the admitting office, and have arrived at the Pediatric Surgical Unit on the 9th floor, you will meet an anesthesiologist to review the anesthetic plan. The anesthesiologist will perform a preoperative evaluation by asking you a number of questions pertaining to anesthesia as well as your child's medical history. Also, you and your child can ask questions to the anesthesiologist and express any concerns at this time. The anesthesiologist will record a detailed history that will notify the pediatric anesthesia team who will be taking care of your child in the operating room of important information. Often times, the anesthesiologist conducting your preoperative evaluation is not the anesthesiologist who will be providing your child's anesthesia in the operating room.
At NYEE we allow parental presence in the operating room at the time of anesthetic induction. The benefits of parental presence during induction of anesthesia are that it helps avoid separation anxiety and that it potentially increases children's cooperation with anesthetic induction. Parents can help with the induction process and help reduce their child's anxiety by maintaining a calm demeanor and by following instructions from OR staff closely.
Upon arriving to the operating room on the 2nd floor, you and your child will be greeted by nursing staff as well as a pediatric anesthesia team who will confirm information with you regarding your child's operation and medical history. Generally, anesthesia for children is begun using an inhalational technique through a soft plastic mask and breathing circuit. The process of going to sleep does not hurt--although the anesthetic gases do smell a little funny (some say like fingernail polish)--and takes approximately 30-45 seconds. Once your child is asleep, you will be escorted from the operating room by a nurse who will give you instructions on where to wait. A member of the pediatric anesthesia team will be with your child throughout the entire surgical procedure.
After the surgery is over you will meet your child again in the recovery room or P.A.C.U. (Post Anesthesia Care Unit). In the P.A.C.U a post-anesthesia nurse will help guide you and your child through the recovery process. Recovery after surgery is difficult for anyone, but especially for children who may be overwhelmed by unfamiliar people, sights and sounds, and may not always understand why they feel uncomfortable. If you know what to expect, you can help prepare your child and help them better cope with any discomfort or fear. Sometimes children wake up from anesthesia very disoriented from the medicines used to help them sleep during surgery. This disorientation is very common and usually resolves within fifteen minutes. Children may also wake up feeling thirsty or hungry because they will have fasted prior to the procedure. Because children may feel nauseous after receiving anesthesia and pain medicines, it is important to start slowly with feeding. After surgery, they should start by drinking small amounts of water or apple juice rather than large portions of food. Also, your surgeon and the nursing staff will provide you instructions on what and when it is safe to eat.
During your child's surgery the anesthesiologist will give good pain and anti-nausea medicines so that hopefully they will wake up comfortable. Additional pain and anti-nausea medicines can be given postoperatively if needed. Recovery room nurses and anesthesiologists are available to address any other questions or concerns throughout the process. After the initial recovery process, you and your child will return to the 9th floor Pediatric Surgery Center to recover further and receive final instructions from nursing staff prior to going home.