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Programs & Services

Anesthesiology Department

The types of anesthesia provided by our team are:

  • Local anesthesia: This temporarily stops the sense of pain in a particular area of the body. A patient remains conscious during a local anesthetic.
  • Regional anesthesia: This is used to numb only the portion of the body that will receive the surgical procedure. Usually, an injection of local anesthetic is given in the area of nerves that provide feeling to that part of the body.
    • Spinal anesthetic: Used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal or lower extremity surgery. 
    • Epidural anesthetic: Similar to spinal anesthetic and is commonly used for surgery of the lower limbs and during labor and childbirth. 
  • General anesthesia: General anesthesia is an anesthetic used to induce unconsciousness during surgery. The medication is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube, or administered through a thin plastic tube inserted into a vein, usually in the patient's forearm.

What to expect

Once your child’s procedure is finished, the anesthesiologist stops the anesthetic, the medication wears off, and your child will gradually wake up in the operating room. Complete recovery from anesthesia continues in the recovery room. Expect your child to be sleepy and to doze off often. Some children become very excited and confused when awakening from anesthesia. This reaction can be disturbing, but it usually lasts only a brief time.

A word about anesthetic agents in newborns, infants

Recent animal studies suggest some anesthetic agents may be harmful to the developing brain. But the relevance of these findings to human newborns and infants is unknown. Phoenix Children’s and Valley Anesthesia Consultants Ltd. endorse a December 2012 statement from SmartTots, a research initiative of the International Anesthesia Research Society, that directly addresses this issue. The consensus statement has also been endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia and other related organizations.

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