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Anesthesiology/General Anasthetic administered twice within 4 months


Dear Doctor,

My child underwent right inguinal hernia repair laproscopic surgery at 1 yr 3 months age. Unfortunately the hernia reappeared on the left side and once again we had a left inguinal hernia repair laproscopic surgery at the age of 1 yr 7 months(last week).

Thus my child has been administered general anaesthesia twice within a gap of 4 months.

As parents we are so much worried about the side effects of general anaesthesia as nowadays doctors don't prefer general anaesthetics even for adult patients.

Kindly advise what precautions we should take to prevent or reduce the side effects of anaesthesia  on our child's health and well being.



Thank you for your question---one that's been knocked about repeatedly for decades without a concensus bottom line.   Here's my bottom line (which you requested):  nothing.  If there are any precautions one might take preoperatively related to anesthetic administration it is to assure that the person administering the anesthetic is qualified to do that to (in your case) small children.  What is his/her training, specialties, certifications and/or limitations?  Will this person be personally administering the anesthetic, or will he be in a supervisory role only available if a problem or issue should arise?  If he's "supervising" who IS administering the anesthetic? (Google "Joan Rivers" or "Michael Jackson" & "anesthesia"--both of "them" asked these questions after the fact as you did).   The definition of an anesthetic includes reversibility--that is, the effects of the anesthetic reverse/go away after its administration.  Permanent effects in children due to repeated anesthetics, especially for shorter surgeries such as hernia repair are rarely, if ever, described, provided the anesthetic is administered properly, monitored properly and only after a proper preoperative examination has been conducted and resusitative equipment and medications are verified to be readily available.


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JM Starkman, MD


Over twenty-five years of adult and pediatric, inpatient and outpatient clinical anesthesia practice--some private, some group.

American Association of Physicians and Surgeons. My county medical society.

[not a researcher]

American medical school graduate. Board Certified. Fellowship trained Cardiovascular and Pediatric anesthesia subspecialist.

Past/Present Clients
Over 20,000 anesthetics, the majority of which have been personally managed, with less than 5% consisting of supervising nurse anesthetists or in-training resident physicians.

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