General Anesthesia via IV Sedation: What to Expect
When you arrive and complete the patient packet, your child’s weight will be measured. Once the anesthesiologist is ready, you and your child will be taken to the pre-op room where the anesthesiologist will review the medical history, double check medications and NPO status (nothing by mouth).
A brief heath exam will be completed (the anesthesiologist will listen to the patient’s heart and lungs and do an airway / IV assessment). Any additional questions / concerns will be addressed at this time.
When in the treatment room the anesthesiologist will place an oxygen mask on your child and start having them breathe in the anesthetic gas slowly. As the child begins to get relaxed and starts to fall asleep, they will pass through something that is called an “excitatory” phase before falling completely asleep. During this time the child will look disoriented and may flail their arms or legs but by this time the patient will not remember anything. Sometimes help may be needed by you or our staff to help secure the patient. This lasts less than 30 seconds and then the patient will be asleep, and you will be escorted to the waiting room.
Monitors and oxygen will be placed, and then the IV will be started. Medications will be given through the IV to keep your child safe and asleep. The anesthesiologist will be monitoring the patient closely through the entire procedure. While your child is being treated, please review the post-operative instructions carefully and any questions will be answered once the procedure is completed.
When the dentist is done with the treatment, the anesthesiologist will start waking up the patient. Once the patient is stable, they will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be waiting. Postoperative instructions will be reviewed, and all questions answered. The anesthesiologist will then leave to prepare for the next case and check on the patient periodically until your child is cleared for discharge.Please keep in mind that the patient will be lightly sedated for the next hour or so while the remaining medication is metabolized, and they will recover to their baseline within a few hours.The anesthesiologist will not allow you to go home until the patient meets all of the discharge criteria.
Our office will follow up with you later this afternoon to make sure everything went well and also address any questions related to pediatric sedation. Please refer all dental related questions to the dental office.