Children are not merely small adults. They frequently present for health care with their own set of rules and requirements for treatment. Unfortunately, many children’s first exposure to health care is a traumatic one as a result of disease or injury. The best exposure and thus long-term development of the child as a sound adult patient is best done on a non-treatment introductional basis. This is generally an option for the general practitioner but presents less frequently for the specialty provider due to the need for emergency care.
When children visit the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, it usually involves the “S” word (surgery). We therefore, must pull out all the stops in order to make your child’s experience not unpleasant and, in fact, a potentially good experience. Good communication with the child and the parent is tantamount to a good experience. Consistent and appropriate explanation sets your child more at ease and develops trust.
As a result, our technique with children does not include the use of restraints or papoose boards. Frequently, parents are allowed, and often asked, to be involved with their child at induction of general anesthesia or during procedures with local anesthesia and local anesthesia and nitrous oxide. Parent involvement is always encouraged.
Dependent upon the complexity of the procedure and the ability of the child to cooperate, anesthetic technique and surgical settings are chosen. Most procedures can be performed in the office with local anesthesia, local anesthesia combined with nitrous oxide sedation, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. In-office carbon dioxide laser capability is also available to provide simple, rapid, and painless care. The technique of choice is usually selected after a consultation with the parents and child.
A unique capability of The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery is the availability of our fully equipped in-office ambulatory surgical suite. This additional suite allows us to provide a superior level of safety and care for our pediatric patients. Frequently, we can provide general anesthesia without needles through the use of inhalation agents (gases). Drs. Elias, Stephens or Jun generally will manage short procedures in an office setting but longer or more complex cases, are more safely managed anesthetically by our staff anesthesia providers in our out patient surgical suite.
As a result, we are very comfortable treating children for all afflictions within our practice scope. Our entire office changes gears with any child patient in order to make their experience pleasant and to avoid the development of long-term fears. But most important of all,…….. we have a toy box!
Please feel free to contact our staff if you have any questions about our pediatric anesthesia services or our ambulatory surgical suite.