Children respond differently to anesthesia. Some children wake up quickly and may be awake before their families arrive at the bedside. Other children may still be sleeping from the effects of anesthesia. Please do not wake your child; children often have a gentler and more comfortable wake up when they awaken on their own.
Your child's surgical team will assess your child's recovery and discuss the best option with you. Some children may have an upset stomach; often children are given medications to help decrease the possibility of nausea and vomiting. Some children may have dizziness, or a sore throat due to the use of a breathing tube during surgery. Some children wake up shivering though they are not cold. Encouraging your child to take deep breaths will help.
Those who have had intravenous (IV) pain medication may have an extremely itchy nose. This itch will go away. All of these reactions are normal. Some children wake up restless or irritable, in a condition known as “emergence delirium.” Some appear awake but are not aware of what is going on around them. Some cry, thrash, arch their back, reach out and seem inconsolable, even when they are in their parent’s arms. This behavior is not usually related to pain, and children do not usually remember it. Emergence delirium may be upsetting for you to see, but be assured that it will go away. By staying calm, speaking softly, and remaining at the bedside, you can be a comfort to your child.
Your nurse will be at the bedside to reassure and support you in consoling and comforting your child. As a result of the surgery and the anesthetic, you may see changes in your child’s sleep and behavioral patterns. If changes occur, it may take several days for your child to return to normal. If concerns persist, please contact your surgeon or anesthesiologist.