It is our concern to explain the entire process to you as a parent in a clear and transparent manner.
Below, you will find all relevant information regarding the entire process of anesthesia for children listed chronologically.
Free initial consultation at home with the child
Unique throughout Switzerland, we offer free initial consultations for
children in their familiar environment at their own homes. The
anesthesiologist personally comes to your home. This serves the purpose
of anesthesia education, alleviating fears and concerns, and building
trust with the child and with you as parents. The child and the
anesthesiologist get to know each other personally, and it often
succeeds in relaxing the child in advance of an operation. In this often
challenging situation, our goal is to convey a sense of security and
appreciation to you and your child.
What should I tell my child?
Talk to your child about the upcoming treatment and anesthesia, explaining the process in age-appropriate language. Providing information that is suitable for your child's age and circumstances helps reduce fears and build trust and security. It's not always easy to find the right words, but - even if well-intentioned - never try to deceive your child! A good rule of thumb is: Don't sugarcoat or dramatize, but be calm and confident. Try to answer all your child's questions in an easily understandable language. Let your child know that you will be with them until the start of the procedure and will also be present after the procedure is completed. Trust in our competence and experience. Surgeries and anesthesia are a special or unusual situation for you and your child - for us, it is our daily work.
Can my child bring toys?
Feel free to bring your child's familiar toys to the treatment: teddy
bears, their favorite doll, a cozy blanket, or a toy car. It doesn't
matter if these items are old or damaged. The goal is to provide your
child with a sense of belonging and security. You can also bring a book
to read in case there are waiting times.
For children of all ages, surgery or dental treatment can be a profound
experience. The unfamiliar environment and the many unfamiliar faces can
be intimidating. Many children are afraid of the treatment, the pain,
or being separated from their parents. Therefore, it is important that
at least one parent (or another close caregiver) accompanies the child.
With us, you can always stay with your child until they fall asleep.
Once the treatment appointment is confirmed, you will receive an email from us with patient information (information sheet and consent form) and a health questionnaire. Please return the health questionnaire to us as soon as possible. You can do this in three ways:
a) You can fill out the questionnaire directly during the free initial consultation at your home in the presence of the anesthesiologist.
b) You can print the PDF sent via email. Then, send us the completed questionnaire as a scanned document by email (preferably as a scan and not as a photo).
c) If you have enough time, you can send the completed consent form and the received health questionnaire by mail to our office:
If your child's health questionnaire responses raise further questions, we will promptly contact you and possibly your child's pediatrician or family doctor. In rare cases, the planned treatment appointment may need to be rescheduled, or additional findings may require surgery in a hospital setting.
Phone call on the eve of the procedure
At least one day before the operation, typically in the evening, your anesthesiologist will personally call you. During this conversation, any open questions related to the upcoming anesthesia will be discussed.
For children, a general anesthesia is usually required. Only in special situations can simple sedation suffice.
Over the phone, the most important risks will also be discussed again, and all your questions will be answered. This is to ensure that you and your child can sleep as well as possible on the night before the procedure and arrive at the practice the next day rested and relaxed.
It is extremely important that your child does not consume solid food or dairy-based beverages at least six hours before the procedure.
Up to a maximum of two hours before the procedure, the consumption of clear fluids such as water, syrup, or tea with sugar is allowed.
In the last two hours before the procedure, your child should not consume anything.
If your child is taking medication, please administer it to them as usual on the day of the procedure. Any exceptions will be arranged during the pre-operative phone call.
Short-term changes in health status.
We kindly request you to promptly inform us of any changes in your
child's health status. This could include things like colds, fever, or a
deterioration in their general condition.
Behavior on the day of the treatment
Dress your child in comfortable clothing and take them to the toilet
shortly before the induction of anesthesia begins. For young children,
bring additional diapers or clothing, as "accidents" can sometimes
happen during or shortly after anesthesia.
Upon arrival at the clinic, the anesthesiologist will decide if your child needs a sedative to prepare for anesthesia. In general, we avoid pre-medication with medication.
If, exceptionally, a sedative appears necessary, we can administer a syrup or nasal spray with a calming effect to your child before the procedure. This medication reduces your child's anxiety and helps them relax. Usually, the child relaxes within 10-30 minutes and starts to feel tired.
Whenever possible, we aim to initiate anesthesia primarily with medications. For this purpose, intravenous access is essential. Therefore, the venous access needs to be established before anesthesia induction. This is preferably done on the back of the hand or forearm, in exceptional cases, it may be done on the foot. The insertion site will already be numbed by the patch you received from the anesthesiologist during the initial consultation. This approach allows for a gentle, stress-free transition into anesthesia.
Once the child is asleep, the parents leave the treatment room and can trust that we will continuously monitor and care for their child.
The now soundly asleep child is then connected to a monitoring device (electrocardiogram - heart monitoring, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation). Depending on the planned procedure, a laryngeal mask is applied, or intubation (inserting a breathing tube through the mouth or nose into the trachea) is gently performed. Your child will not feel this! Afterward, the surgery can begin.
The numbing patch
In the case of an intravenous anesthesia induction, the skin around the insertion site on your child will be numbed with a local anesthetic. This is done on the day of the operation and ensures that your child feels little to no discomfort during the anesthesia induction.
For this purpose, you will receive a patch containing such anesthetic during the initial consultation. The anesthesiologist will specify the appropriate area of the skin where you should apply the patch approximately one hour before the procedure.
During the surgery
Throughout the entire duration of anesthesia, your child will be
continuously monitored by the anesthesia team. Typically, breathing
during general anesthesia requires artificial support, but your child
will not feel it. Pain medication is administered during the surgery to
ensure that your child wakes up with minimal pain.
End of the anesthesia treatment, discharge
Your child will wake up 5 to 10 minutes after the procedure, and you can
return to your child. Once the child is sufficiently awake (usually
after an additional 30-60 minutes), pain-free, and in stable condition,
you are allowed to leave with your child. Discharge always occurs in the
company of an adult.
Behavior at home
Plan to monitor and care for your child for the remainder of the day of
the procedure. We will provide you with pain medication for your child
to take home, so you can easily manage any pain that may occur later at
home. While complications in outpatient procedures are fortunately very
rare, we, as well as your doctor or dentist, are available for questions
and further assistance. Additionally, before discharge, you will
receive a document from us that includes all relevant medication
instructions, behavioral guidelines, and contact numbers for you to take
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