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3yr old having a General Anaesthetic - reassure me please !!

(24 Posts)
Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 20:07:47

Hi, have posted on here before about my ds needing to be circumcised. We got the date through for his op today and its only 10 days away and I'm panicking about the GA.

I know the op is a very simple one and I'm ok with that - its more the GA and the idea of him being put to sleep -
how will they give him the anaesthetic? (I had an op when I was 3 and I bit the doctor when he tried to put me to sleep with the mask wink
how long will he take to come round after the op ?
What will he be like after - will he be a bit spaced for a few hours/all day/a couple of days ?

I've got a million and one questions (most of them really stupid) but the hospital has given us very little info on this and I'm getting myself into a bit of a state worrying about my little man.

If anyone has some experience of this and can offer some advice I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 16-Sep-09 20:11:08

My dd had a serious accident when she was 22 months old and needed a GA. They needed to know what she weighed and then I held her while they put the mask over her face which sent her off to sleep. She fought it for a while which afterwards I was pleased about.
The nurse took her off to theatre and I went out and fell into DH's arms and sobbed.

She was gone for hours and then kept in overnight. DH stayed with her as my baby was only 3 weeks old and I needed to be with him to feed him and DH could give DD full attention.

I don't remember her being anything other than a bit sleepy and then came home the next morning.

I hope it all goes well and you are okay too.

Ponders Wed 16-Sep-09 20:13:42

Most important thing IME & O is to try not to let the child know you have any worries - however anxious you feel be calm & breezy & reassuring in the pre-op time even if you collapse in a blubbering heap later.

I have had an 18-month-old & a 6-year-old have a GA & both were OK. Good luck smile

Ponders Wed 16-Sep-09 20:17:14

Afterwards 18-month-old (grommets & adenoids) was a bit grumpy but being non-verbal & somewhat confused was easier to deal with. 6-yr-old (tonsils) was distraught initially but calmed down quite quickly - actually I think the throat discomfort was worse than the GA grogginess once they were properly round.

Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 20:18:11

I'm really worried about him fighting with the mask - he's a strong little fella and can imagine him getting himself in a real state. He's already mentioned about them not chopping his willy off sad
I know I'll have to be in there with him as DH has already said that he can't be in there. In a way I'd rather it be me, I'm his mum and its my job and I'll need to know he's ok but on the other hand I'm not sure I'll be able to keep it together. God thats so selfish - I should be thinking about him not me.
Hope your little girl is ok now FabBakerGirl

Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 20:21:55

thanks ponders - how long before they were 'back to normal' and not groggy any more ?

Effjay Wed 16-Sep-09 20:24:25

My little boy (3 yr old too) had a cyst removed recently under GA. He was absolutely fine, but I was determined I was going to remain calm so that he didn't pick up on anything from me. They put a mask on his face and he went straight out without a fuss. Felt very weird seeing it happen and I didn't want to leave him there. They told me it would take about 1.5hrs but it took 2.5hrs, by which time I was pretty anxious. So don't be too alarmed if it takes longer than they tell you ...! Also, he was very tired for the next few days and had a two hour sleep at lunchtime for 3 or 4 days after while it got out his system (he dropped his daytime nap a while ago).

bristols Wed 16-Sep-09 20:25:15

Singstar - They will apply some numbing cream to his hands to enable a cannula to be inserted for IV access. He won't feel them do that and you will just need to keep him distracted.

As long as they are successful with the cannula (sometimes the children just won't let the anaesthetist do it) then he will be given IV drugs to send him off to sleep.
This is what normally happens so please try not to get too worked up over the fighting of the mask as there's a high chance it won't happen.

He will probably be pretty sleepy for the rest of the day. You'll need to give him regular pain killers. There is a type of nerve block that can be given (local anaesthetic injected into the nerves serving the penis while he is under anaesthetic) awhich would keep it all numb for a few hours. Might be worth asking the anaesthetist about that.

He might have a drip/oxygen mask/blood pressure cuff on when he wakes up so worth warning him about that.


(I work in the recovery room so any more questions, ask away and I'll try to answer!)

swingsofglory Wed 16-Sep-09 20:26:57

My DD had to have several operations shortly after birth which all required GA. Obviously she was much smaller but we got to be quite used to it. sad She's OK now though.

I held her in the anaesthetists room while they put the mask over her face. She'd go under and we'd be swiftly chaperoned out of the room. After about an hour we'd go down to the recovery room where the nurse was usually holding her as she was just coming round. I guess it might be a shorter wait for you - depending on the op. She was often a bit groggy afterwards and we were told that it takes a couple of days for the anaesthetic to work out of the system. Like i say though, she was MUCH smaller, so it may be quicker for a larger child.

I agree with Ponders that it's really important to reassure your DS as much as possible. Good luck with it.

throckenholt Wed 16-Sep-09 20:30:06

My ds had to have a GA at about that age. I went with him into the preop area, he sat on my lap while they put a needle in his hand and he drifted off to sleep in about a minute - it was fine - honest.

Then it was a lot of waiting, until he came back from the theatre, and then waiting for him to wake up, then hanging around until they were sure he was ok to go home.

Take a good book with you and food to keep you going

LedodgyDailyMailstinksofpoo Wed 16-Sep-09 20:36:58

My ds had a GA in May (adenoids and grommits). They put numbing cream on his hands earlier in the day then in the theatre a nurse turned him towards her and spoke to him/distracted him (it helped alot that she had pink hair!) whilst the anaethetist put the canula in. Then she said 'say night night mum and give him a kiss' which I did. She injected the GA and he went sleep immediatley. I have to say I was surprised how quickly he fell asleep it was not a gradual nodding off just straight from awake to asleep so be aware this can happen. Afterwards he was fine just like he'd woken up from being asleep.

Ponders Wed 16-Sep-09 20:37:20

Singstar, I don't remember blush (it was quite a few years ago). In my vague recollection it was an hour tops but could have been more...will ask DH later

crokky Wed 16-Sep-09 20:37:22

My DS (also 3) went into hospital for GA earlier this summer.

TBH, it is more torture for the parents than anything else.

This is how it went...

We went in and were given a bed on a childrens ward. They filled in loads of paperwork, medical history etc. They put "magic cream" on DS's hand and a big clear plaster over it. This takes around 30-45mins to anaesthestise the hand so it cannot feel anything where the cream is. DS played with toys during this time. Then I went to the room with DS where they put them out (only one parent was allowed in this small room). They asked him to cuddle me so that his creamed hand was behind my back. A nurse spoke to him about a toy whilst someone stuck a cannular (sp?) in his hand (he did not feel it). Then, they allowed him to see his hand with the magic cream and blue button on it and said how nice it was. Then they said they were going to put some milk through the button (white anaesthetic in a syringe - no needle as needle already in hand, just literally syringe). As soon as they injected that, DS went to sleep and I put him on the bed. Then they took him away and did the operation. 30 mins later, they came to get me and (again only one parent at this stage) to go to the recovery room where DS was coming round. He was a bit disorientated and moody but OK. VERY tired. He then slept on the ward for 2 hours. When he woke up, he ran around like a maniac (despite having had an operation on his heavily bandaged foot shock). Then, you have to wee, eat and make sure you're yourself and then you can go.

He had no effects from the GA other than that. Next day, running around as normal.


Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 20:46:43

thanks so much everyone, Bristols can I ask you a couple more ?s pls
When do they put the canula in ? Is it just before the op ? (Only asking as I know there can often be delays so the less time he would have it in the better)

They have said it will take no longer than 30mins - is it usual for them to be a bit optimistic re timings or are they usually quite spot on - ie when do I start panicking ? (If i need to)

Are we allowed in the recovery room to be there for when he wakes up or are we brought in once he starts waking up ?

Would the anaethetist not necessarily apply the numbing drugs unless we specifically asked for them?

Thanks again everyone

Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 20:51:00

crokky that really helped - slightly concerned that my ds will be like yours - he's meant to rest and have no rough play for a week - that's like asking me not to reach for the wine at the end of the night - completely impossible !!!
don't like the fact that only one parent was allowed in recovery - how long were you in there before you were allowed back to the ward ?

completelyshotpelvicfloor Wed 16-Sep-09 20:57:09

my DD has GA at six months (umbilical granuloma), they tried to insert the canula but little veins so no joy. i was holding her in the operating theatre so anaesthatist (sorry for spelling) said that I should sing to her while he wafted the mask near her nose. she went out like a light (still with eyes open so don't freak like I did).I wasn't there when she came out - the team didn't want an extra person there. She is fine.

Oh yes, don't do what I did and get a whiff of the gas yourself - I was useless for about an hour!

Friendlypizzaeater Wed 16-Sep-09 20:58:10

My LO (6yr) had GA 2 weeks ago. He is petrified of needles and the magic cream doesn;t work (past experience hence needle fear) so he was given a pre med. Within about 5 mins he was drunk and moving round his bed trying to get comfy for a sleep, we went off to theatre chattering as we went. We went in the pre doors and he was given a mask to see if he could smell bananas - guess what - he couldnt grin He was out ! I was told 2 hours but it was nearer 3, by which time I'd worn the carpet out ! He was slow to come round in recovery but woke up properly about 30 mins later. They whipped his canula out whilst he was still groggy and stuck a plaster over it. He came round and the first he asked saw the plaster. he pulled it off and remarked how it was a little cut for a plaster. He then threw up 3 times (common) and an hour later we where on the way home. He slept well that night and the next day was first day back at school, so i rang them first thing and said he seemed OK - what should I do. They said to take him in and if he showed any signs of being tired/unwell they would ring. He was fine.

He had cameras up and down and biospies taken which we are waiting on the results but he still doesn't know hes had an operation !

Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 21:06:16

Thanks for the tips - I'll make sure I don't get a sniff of the gas although it might stop me wailing like a banshee while he's in there ! I didn't realise they could be sick -so I'll be keep an eye out for that. I hope your LO is ok

crokky Wed 16-Sep-09 21:08:00

I was only in recovery for about 5-10 minutes until they wheeled the bed back onto the ward.

No rough play sounds difficult, I would seriously ask them about how important that it and what you are supposed to do with a 3yo. My DS was literally running around, jumping off the sofa and tearing the bandage off his foot. I have heard this is normal behaviour, indeed, the other toddlers on the ward did the same thing.

alypaly Wed 16-Sep-09 21:13:47

they know what they are doing and it is a very short op

Singstar Wed 16-Sep-09 21:14:20

well because its his willy they want him to rest as otherwise there is risk of bleeding -although how I'm going to get him and his 4yr old brother to stop playing power rangers for a week is still something I haven't worked out. hmm Lots of dvd's I think !!

boneybones Wed 16-Sep-09 22:00:26

singstar can I ask what problems your ds has had for them to send him for circumcision?

My Ds sometimes has a sore willy - he complains when and after he wees, only been to the docs once about it. Dr said his end/wee hole (sorry!) was very, very small and he thought he may have problems in the future and said he may have to be circumcised

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 17-Sep-09 08:12:31

My DD is fine now, thank you.

And like someone else, she is in theatre a lot longer than expected but she was more badly injured than originally thought.

Singstar Thu 17-Sep-09 14:38:40

Boneybones, DS was potty trained by 2 (his choice by the way not ours grin ) and then after about 6mths we started noticing the end of his willy got really red, his wee seemed to 'balloon' in the end of his willy before it came out, he sprayed his wee everywhere, he got lots of infections and the older he got the more aware of it he became and then came the embarrassment factor for him (not helped by his older brother calling him disgusting!)

After a period of time trying to 'stretch' his foreskin when he was in the bath (as advised by the nurse at the drs) we asked for a referral as things were getting worse not better and he was basically always on medication for it in some form or another. The consultant took one look and said it needed operating on. We'd reseached lots of other options but the consultant but nicely and bluntly he said it will only to continue to get worse and cause him more discomfort so the sooner we get it done the better.

Speaking to other people on here that does seem to be the general consensus - its a simple procedure but its not one thats decided upon lightly. And everyone's reassurance has really helped me so I hope its helped you too.

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