The Department of Anesthesia provides general anesthesia for patients in radiology who will have difficultly staying still for optimal images. These patients may be infants or toddlers, or have coexisting medical conditions, and are unable to cooperate while undergoing procedures involving medical imaging.
Common modalities that may require anesthesia to complete procedures:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- Nuclear medicine
- Fluoroscopy (X-ray) (anesthesia rarely used)
- Interventional radiology (anesthesia provided by same-day surgery)
Anesthesiologists focus on keeping the airway open, keeping your child from moving during the procedure and aiding in a rapid recovery from anesthesia with minimal side effects.
Before the procedure
Your child will be assessed and prepared. You will be asked questions about your child’s medical history, allergies, medications, anesthetic experience and health status. Your child’s airway, heart and lungs will be examined carefully.
Our goal is for your child to feel safe and happy in our environment. A member of the nursing or Child Life departments will explain, in a child-friendly manner, what the exam will be like.
During the procedure
General anesthesia is normally given by having your child breathe anesthetic gases through a mask. In older children, anesthesia may be given intravenously (IV). Anesthesia may be maintained with IV anesthetic agents or anesthetic gases.
Anesthesia professionals will monitor your child closely during the procedure. Equipment will check on the heart’s electrical activity, blood pressure, oxygen levels in the blood and breathing (measuring inhaled oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide concentrations).
Most radiological procedures are not painful. However, if necessary, we will give medications for pain management.
After the procedure
Recovery time is variable, with few side effects. Discharge instructions will be provided.