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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

4yr old DS needs 30min op under general? Experiences please

(19 Posts)
bubbakin Tue 27-Sep-11 13:24:07

hi

My DS needs a small op to close a hole in his groin that the testes drop through but never sealed so as a result he has one teste that fills with fluid & possibly a small hernia. The operation is day surgery & only takes around 30 mins but they do it under general. Can anyone tell me what the general entails? Are you allowed to stay with them till they go to sleep - is it done by injection/mask...sorry not got a clue (know I can ask at pre op appointment but don't want to worry my son.) If I know what to expect I can be prepared & braver!! Pathetic I know, apologies to those who have seriously ill DC that go through this all the time.

twooter Tue 27-Sep-11 13:31:04

My dd had a GA at 4 years old. She had cream on her hand - a local- so the catheter wasn't too sore when that was placed. I stayed with her whilst they gave the injection GA, and left the room immediately after. Afterwards she was very sore, and screaming and disorientated, so that was the worse bit. Apart from the worry the night before..

Canella Tue 27-Sep-11 13:31:54

My ds1 had an op when he was nearly 3 - also a short lasting general.
We went down together to the anaesthetic room next to the theatre and there was also a play nurse there who helped to distract ds. He sat on my knee, snuggled in but with one arm behind me IYSWIM that he couldnt see and they then put a cannula in his hand and put the anaesthetic in there. He very quickly went completely floppy in my arms and they took him off me. I was distraught at this point - he obviously wasnt dead but looked like it. sad

But they phoned 30 mins later to the ward and said he was awake and I went down with them to get him. he was a bit dopey for an extra 15 mins but after that was his normal self.

Hope that helps - good luck to your ds.smile

Francagoestohollywood Tue 27-Sep-11 13:37:07

Hi, ds had a similar operation at 10 months old, but he had it in Italy.
I don't remember much, but I did stay with him and walked him to the OR when he was slightly asleep already.

They come out of the OR very disoriented, some children that morning were screaming etc, but ds was fine, perhaps because he was so little.

After a few hrs he was able to eat (and he ate a lot, I remember well!) and settled nicely for his sleep at night. He wasn't in much pain.

CaptainNancy Tue 27-Sep-11 13:50:17

Hi, my DD had an op when she was 4 for grommets, and she needed a general. I was very nervous, but the staff were fantastic, and went through the whole procedure, and answered any questions we had. We stayed with our DD until she was asleep (she had the cream on her hand and the injection), and it was v odd seeing her black out, but she was fine as soon as she came round- the only thing she was upset by was how hungry she was by that time! grin

They let us/DD decide whether or not to have the mask or injection to go to sleep. We chose injection because our DD has a bit of an issue with going to sleep, and we didn't want her to be panicking with a mask IYSWIM. Injection is very fast acting, and she didn;t even realise she'd been asleep when she came round, bless her.

Is your son's op for a hydrocele? There are other threads on here about that op- if you use 'advanced search' at the top you can find them...

Hope all goes well! smile

Lottie4 Tue 27-Sep-11 14:11:07

My daughter had an emergency operation to remove her apprendix a couple of years ago when she was seven. As she was a bit older the doctor explained to her why they thought they needed to operate, but I'm not sure they will do this as your son is a little younger. The aneasthetist was also present and explained to her she would come up and see him just before her operation and have a go at trying to blow bubbles (I wasn't there at the time but it's a way of getting the aneasthetic into them). She was really excited about this and couldn't wait to go! She was allowed to choose one parent to go up with her and my husband went.

After she had been out of the operating theatre for 30 mins we were allowed to go up and see her. She was still asleep, and this gave the surgeons time to explain exactly what they had found.

The staff were absolutely brilliant with her and really caring. We were given opportunities to ask questions even just before she went up. The surgeons were meant to finish work at 8pm and stayed on to operate and ended up leaving at 11pm.

The worst thing for me was the fact she didn't feel too good was was sick quite a lot two days later, something to do with the anesthetic, so just be prepared to take things easy for a few days in case this is what is needed.

Hope it all goes well.

NellyTheElephant Tue 27-Sep-11 14:55:14

My Dd had to have a general for a small op when she was rising 4 and will need to have the same again shortly. All the doctors and nurses treated her brilliantly. She had a local anaesthetic put on both her hands. I went with her to the operating theatre and they sat her on my lap and were the masters of distraction techniques while they inserted the cannula (one nurse focused on one hand fussing around and removing the plaster and prodding and poking and talking about where they were going to insert it while another actually inserted the cannula into her other hand and she didn't even notice!). She fell asleep on my lap and we then lifted her onto the operating table and I had to leave. Like others have said it is very unsettling (for you not the child) watching the general take effect. It was pretty awful when she came around, I had been called from the waiting room but by the time I reached the recovery area I could hear her hysterical screaming echoing down the corridor as I approached. She was beside herself and inconsolable for about 10 mins screaming. She soon calmed down though and was totally fine and within 30 mins she was happily chatting away and very hungry and eating loads. No lasting effects and although she remembers going into hospital and loads about it she doesn't seem to recall that first wake up stage and all the screaming so I think she actually wasn't fully aware (I've had a few generals myself and know that the first waking stages tend to be very hazy). I just wish I had been able to be with her when she woke up and will try and see if that might be possible next time.

Sirzy Tue 27-Sep-11 15:00:50

Ds had an operation to straighten his penis at 18 months. He was given a pre med before (not normal when so young but we knew he hated masks and needles!) which made him very drowsy. It also make him groggy after the op for a few hours.

I went with him straight into the anaesthetic room and stayed with him til he was alseep (which was very quick) and then started crying!

He was in for just over an hour, as soon as he came out I was taken up to recovery and came back to the ward with him.

maxmissie Tue 27-Sep-11 15:02:20

I would second all of the comments above, my ds had an mri when 9 months old under a general, we were with him until he went to sleep, think anaesthetic was administered by a canula but at the hospital he goes to anyone having a general or sedation has to have a canula in now regardless of whether it needs to be used or not, he went straight to sleep, we were with him when he woke up which was on the ward and he was fine when he woke up, possible because he was only small, not sure how he would react now.

Now when he had sedation for his last mri (when 2yo) it took half an hour of him acting like a drunken fool before the sedative kicked in....! he was also fine when he woke up.

lisad123 Tue 27-Sep-11 15:06:53

if i remember from my placement when training, they tend to let parents stay until LO is under (normally by injection) and then you go off and wait and return to the ward about same time as the LO.
Please dont panic about crying, every parent I was with when their child went under GA, cried. I didnt have children atthis point but nurses explained it nearly always happens, so please dont worry.
hope it goes ok x

starfishmummy Tue 27-Sep-11 15:17:41

DS has had numerous operations (most of them before his fourth birthday).
It varies wheher they put a cannula in (on the ward or in the anaesthetic room) or whether they use gas to send them to sleep. The decision will normally be made by the anaesthetist taking medical needs into account - but as ds is difficult to cannulate (sp?) we tended to ask for them to use gas and then put the cannula in once he was asleep. You will be able to stay until he goes to sleep - sometimes its one person can go in, other times its both parents and you may have to put on a gown.

In our experience the time they give for the operation does not include them prepping the child and bringing them round at the end; so while the actual procedure is only 30 minutes it could be longer than that. Generally we have been called into recovery and he has been groggy and a bit upset - usually pain relief will have been given.

Normally after a short while on the ward they will give the child something to eat and drink; one of the surgical team will talk to you and the nurses should tell you about any ongoing medication or care needs. If your child has had pain relief then ask them what and when so you know when it's safe to give more at home. Providing the meal stays down, and usually they like the child to have had a wee, you will be able to go home.
Make sure you have a car/lift arranged as they don't recommend public transport after an op.

Good luck.

(Don't forget to put a big name label on teddy!!!)

griffalo2 Tue 27-Sep-11 16:29:54

Hi,my ds is five and had the same op just last week (hydrocele and hernia).
They use the needle in back of the hand but use the gas for plan b incase he refuses needle.they have numbing cream on back of hand so It doesnt hurt.ds was under for about 45-50 mins,he was then in recovery for about 10 mins before being wheeled back to ward.half an hour later he was up and playing table football in the playroom.i couldnt believe it.they encourage a drink of water and something to eat,once he had been to the toilet we went home.
They gave pain killers when ds was asleep and he asked for more on ward but thats it.he had 2 inch cut which has healed nicely,its between belly button and Willy to one side,i was worried it would be in the crease.
I think the wait before the op is the scariest bit cause you just dont know what to expect.
If you have any questions please ask

bagelmonkey Tue 27-Sep-11 16:43:56

In most hospitals they will let a parent come to the anesthetic room with a young child until they are asleep for elective operations (but often not for emergencies).
He will probably have local anaesthetic cream put on the back of his hands to numb the skin before any injection.
In the anesthetic room they will attarch some monitoring equipment then either put him to sleep using gas or through a drip. Sometimes the anaesthetic can make the child wriggle around a lot before they go to sleep. A lot if children will be scared in such a strange environment so don't feel you will be judged if he acts up or anything. Just be supportive for him and be strong. Don't let him get any hint that you're scared.
After the operation he will take some time to wake up fully. He may be distressed initially as the anaesthetic wears off an he feels lost. They might allow you to join him in the recovery area.
Afterwards he will be a bit tired initially but will soon be back to his usual self. He may feel sick, especially if he gets car sick.
He might have to wear a hospital gown, but take PJs in case he's allowed to wear them, plus something comfy to come home in. It's worth having a sick bowl in the car just in case.
Fasting is no fun. You should fast with him. Make sure he doesn't see any food or drink until he's allowed it himself. If you are drinking in front of him it's torture!

bagelmonkey Tue 27-Sep-11 16:44:42

And you need to buy him a present bribe for afterwards

Good luck!

bagelmonkey Tue 27-Sep-11 16:46:35

Also, check you have some paracetamol & ibuprofen left at home.

geogteach Tue 27-Sep-11 16:52:27

I agree with all said above, DS1 has had a number of generals for minor ops. By far the worst bit is the fast, he does not appreciate missing breakfast! First time he was very sick after, but since we know that they now give him anti sickness drugs and it hasn't happened again, but take spare clothes, i remember coming home covered in vomit, me and him!

dizzyblonde Wed 28-Sep-11 13:02:48

my son has had a number of ops needing GA including a hydrocele. He was difficult about the cannula even with the cream so they gave him gas, I was with him until he went to sleep.
He came round really quickly, they said he would have to stay in when he was under 2 but he was so lively they sent us home no doubt with a sigh of relief!
The scar was glued and as far as I know not visible now although I haven't looked for some years as he's 18 tomorrow.

Sam100 Wed 28-Sep-11 13:11:47

Our dd has had a number of GAs. She does not like the cannulas and so has gas by mask - they put the cannula in when she is under.

Be aware that being under can make them very tearful afterwards - my dd is always very upset and tearful for 3 to 4 hours afterwards. She is older now and can articulate her feelings and says she can't explain why, she is not hurting but just needs a good cry. She is also usually very thirsty and likes to have her own water bottle to hand when she comes back up.

moajab Thu 29-Sep-11 23:33:31

My DD had an operation to remove a cyst on his head aged 3 1/2. You will be told when the last time they can eat. Ours was an afternoon surgery so he had to finish his breakfast before 7am then could drink things like juice until 12pm then only water - can't remember when he had to stop that. When he asked for lunch we told him we'd have a teddy bears picnic in the hospital after his sleep.
On the day be prepared for a fair amount of waiting, even if your DS is one of the first to go down (quite likely as he's young) so take some things to do. Our hospital just wanted one parent to be with him when he was given the GA and my DH went and he said it was very shocking how suddenly they just go mid conversation. You may well feel quite emotional when it happens - I remember welling up when he trotted off happily with DH!
Try not to worry if the op takes longer than you expect. We were told that it would just take minutes, so I was hoping he would be back after 15 - 20 mins. By 30 mins I was feeling worried, particularly when Mr Calm DH started pacing around nervously! But after 40 mins we were told that everything had gone very well that he was in recovery and they'd bring him up as soon as he came round. He was still very sleepy when he came up and was on a drip because it was a hot day and he hadn't had anything to drink. They wanted him to wee, drink and eat before he could go home. Luckily as he woke up it was obvious he needed a wee so they took him off the drip and he insisted on going to toilet on his own! Less than an hour later, after our teddy bears picnic, we went home. He was very sleepy for the rest of the day but was back to normal the next day.
Good luck to your DS for his op! I agree with previous poster about present for after - it will make you feel better too!

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