What you need to know about anesthesia

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, discusses the risks of general anesthesia for children
Parenting and Health Advice | What you need to know about anesthesia and kids
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What you need to know about anesthesia

When it comes to anesthesia and having surgery, there are many levels of anesthesia you can have. It can range from just getting local anesthesia, which is what you get at the dentist, just an injection, to getting the full general anesthetic where you have to have a breathing tube in to help you breathe. Now the effects that anesthesia has on children as they’re growing is being heavily investigated as we speak. So I can’t give you definitive answers on the full effects of anesthesia. However, what I do tell me most of my families when it comes to their child having surgery and undergoing a general anesthetic, it’s important they do it at a place that only does pediatric anesthesia. I find that the trouble we get into when it comes to children who have surgery and are under anesthesia is sometimes you can have a provider who is doing adults and children on the same day as far as their anesthetics. And if you consider that, there are different doses of medication that adults and children will get. So make sure that if your child is going to have anesthesia, they do it with a practitioner that is a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist and at a place that does pediatric anesthesia on a regular basis.

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, discusses the risks of general anesthesia for children


Expert Bio

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Edward Buchanan

Pediatric Plastic Surgeon & Author

Dr. Edward P. Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He is the Chief of Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Before coming to Houston, he trained in Plastic Surgery at Stanford University and did further training in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Although he performs all kinds of Plastic and Pediatric Plastic Surgery, his main focus of practice is Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery as well as Craniofacial Surgery.When he is not in Houston, Dr. Buchanan enjoys traveling to countries across the globe to teach and learn from other surgeons.  His most recent trip was to Lilongwe, Malawi, where he was a member of the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Surgical Initiative to help perform and teach Cleft and Pediatric Plastic Surgery.He recently wrote a children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of the Prickly Pear and the Happy Hoglet: Beginning the Journey of the Mental Ninja.” The book is intended to help children begin to develop a healthy self-image so that they can begin their Journey to becoming Mental Ninja’s (mentalninja.org).  The story was inspired by the children and family’s Dr. Buchanan has cared for over the years. 

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