How is surgery different for children and adults?

When it comes to surgery, one size does not fit all. Children and adults have different needs before, during, and after surgery, even if they are being treated for the same conditions. Pediatric surgeons have special training that allows them to work specifically on young patients to ensure the best possible outcomes. Here is a closer look at how surgery in children’s hospitals differs from adult surgical procedures.

Prepping patients and families
For kids, surgery is a family affair. Before a pediatric surgery, the doctors and surgeons involved in the case will spending time explaining what to expect to the patient in an age-appropriate way and helping parents and siblings understand the procedure.

It’s important for parents to have a complete understanding of their children’s surgery, so they feel as comfortable as possible about the treatment plan and are equipped for the recovery period. It is equally important for the pediatric patient to have age-appropriate knowledge of the procedure so that he or she is relaxed rather than fearful.

Using kid-friendly surgical equipment
Kids have different needs in terms of anesthesia and surgical equipment. Pediatric anesthesiologists are trained to provide safe and effective anesthesia to young patients, adjusting medications as necessary for a child’s weight and to account for children’s small airways.

Pediatric surgeons are able to perform minimally invasive procedures on children thanks to equipment that has been manufactured to be kid-sized. As the video states, pediatric surgical equipment is small and precise, so that kids can reap the benefits of faster recovery times that are associated with minimally invasive procedures. Open surgeries, when necessary, are also performed with kid-friendly equipment.

Managing post-operative pain
Kids often struggle to accurately describe pain levels after surgery, which can make pain management more complex. Child Life specialists are healthcare associates in children’s hospitals who help kids learn to describe their pain levels and assist in ensuring young patients’ post-operative pain is being adequately and safely controlled.

At Sunrise Children’s Hospital , our team of pediatrics specialists in Las Vegas is highly skilled in childhood surgeries and dedicated to keeping patients and their families at ease during a scary time. To request a referral to a provider at our children’s hospital, please call (702) 233-5437.

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