Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia your child will receive depends on the type of surgery and your child's medical condition, and might include:
- Local anesthesia: These agents temporarily stop the sense of pain in only a particular area of the body while your child remains conscious. We usually use this type of anesthesia for minor surgeries.
- Regional anesthesia: With regional anesthesia, we numb only the portion of the body where the surgery will be done. Regional anesthetics include spinal anesthetic, a single dose of the anesthetic medication into the lower back to numb the lower body before lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal, or leg surgery, and continuous spinal anesthesia ("epidural"). We commonly use epidurals for prolonged surgeries, often involving the legs. In cases where we use an epidural for chest surgery, we inject the anesthetic higher up in the back to numb the chest and abdominal areas.
- General anesthesia: We use general anesthesia to induce unconsciousness during surgery, and we give it via inhalation.