Anaesthesia is necessary for most surgical procedures in children. The reasons for giving anaesthesia are:
- The child must be asleep through the operation
- The child must not experience any pain during the procedure.
- There should be absence of pain and discomfort after the operation
Generally, these objectives are achieved by using a combination of general and regional anaesthesia.
General anaesthesia ensures that the child is asleep. Regional anaesthesia means that a special injection, given at a determined spot, can take away the pain from a particular part of the body. An example of regional anaesthesia is the epidural block that is used for painless labour. For hypospadias, regional anaesthesia is given using a “caudal block”. Here, a space near the tail bone can admit a needle which can access a space near the spinal cord, and temporarily numb the nerves going towards the pelvis.
A caudal block is extensively used in children’s surgery and is safe.
You can get more details of the type of anaesthesia by having a discuss=ion with the anaesthesiologist who will be present at surgery. Please bear in mind that he/she is an expert in this field, and will choose the safest and most effective method of anaesthesia for your child.