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Anesthesia is the use of medicines to prevent pain and discomfort during some medical tests, procedures, surgery, and other treatments. General anesthesia causes a complete loss of consciousness. It is often described as a “deep sleep.” But unlike normal sleep, your child will not feel sensations such as pain. The time your child spends waking up after anesthesia is called recovery.
Do not leave the hospital while your child is under anesthesia. At least one family caregiver should stay in the waiting room during your child's procedure.
After a surgery, procedure, or treatment with anesthesia, the care team will take your child to the recovery area. The recovery area is also called the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Hospital staff will watch your child until the effects of anesthesia are over.
St. Jude has 5 recovery rooms in the PACU. Your nurse will tell you which room your child will be placed in. No more than 2 caregivers are allowed into the recovery room. If siblings come with you, please keep them by your side and quiet out of respect for other patients.
No filming, photography, video call, or similar activity is allowed in the PACU.
Your child may have side effects after getting anesthesia. Possible anesthesia side effects include:
Watch your child closely during the first 24 hours after anesthesia. Your child should respond easily. Breathing should be normal.
The care team will give you important instructions to follow when your child is released from the recovery area. Ask your care team if you have any questions about your child’s procedure or recovery.
Reviewed: January 2024