My newborn baby is having surgery. The anesthesiologist wants to do spinal anesthesia. Says, gen anesthesia not good for little brain. Is spinal safe?
Yes, but. The spinal is a safe anesthetic for a pediatric patient. I have found that the surgeons do not like the fact that the patient is still wiggling while they work, but that is personal. I am not sure that i completely agree with the comments of my colleague about anesthesia and the brain, but that is a different discussion.
Spinal OK. Recent animal studies raise concerns that some anesthetics might interfere with brain development. However we know that surgery without anesthesia is very damaging, so anesthesia may be necessary. In young infants surgery should be delayed until older unless absolutely needed. For the right kind of surgery, a spinal or regional or local anesthesia is a way to avoid the more toxic agents.
Yes. Ask how many cases like this the anesthesiologist has done. If < 10 make sure there is backup help. Spinal seems better but studies are few wtihout long term outcomes.
Big hospital. Trust hospitals with large numbers of similar procedures. If your anesthesiologist and pediatric surgeon both agree on this plan and you are at a tertiary care center, go for it.
Yes. Important to have an experienced pediatric anesthesiologist. Especially in newborn where respiratory center not fully matured, a primary spinal technique is very safe, especially in short procedure. Baby should do fine. Rest assured, your child will be fully monitored in the same fashion as a general and he/she will experience no pain.
Yes! Hello ! i think that you can ask more questions. I'm the assistant chief & i encourage pre-anesthesia phone calls from patients' parents. Ask them! pediatric anesthesiologists are used to questions from mothers. We customize the anesthesia for the child & the surgery to minimize risk. Spinal anesthesia can be safe & so is a general anesthesia... It all depends on what your child needs!