Tonsil, Adenoid, and Ear Tube Surgery: Anesthesia

Anesthesia is medicine that lets your child sleep during surgery. It's given by a trained specialist called an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. This healthcare provider will talk with you before your child's surgery. They will also closely watch your child during the procedure.

How anesthesia works

When it's time for surgery, your child will be given medicine to breathe through a mask. This will put your child to sleep. After your child falls asleep, an IV (intravenous) line may be started in the arm or hand. The IV line is a thin tube that provides medicines and fluids during surgery. IV lines are rarely used for ear tube surgery.

When your child goes to the operating room

Your child will be taken to the room where the surgery will be done. In this room, your child will see big machines and lights. There will also be some loud beeps. The healthcare providers will be there with your child.

The healthcare provider trained in giving anesthesia will put a mask over your child’s mouth and nose. Your child will breathe in (inhale) a special gas or vapor that helps them fall asleep.

When the surgery is done, the healthcare provider will wake your child up and they will be taken to a recovery area.

Special consideration for ear tube surgery

In some cases, ear tube surgery can be done in a healthcare provider's office using local anesthesia. This means that your child is awake for the procedure. A medicine is placed in the ear to prevent any pain. Discuss with your healthcare provider which anesthesia option is best for your child.

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