Anesthesia for Outpatient Surgery

These days, more and more pediatric surgeries are being performed on an outpatient basis. The development of new short-acting anesthesia and pain relieving medicines has allowed for quick recovery after surgery with minimal side effects. Outpatient procedures are performed at Norton Children's Hospital Downtown, at the outpatient medical center- Norton Children's Medical Center, and at the new outpatient medical center, Norton Women's & Children's Hospital-St Matthews. Surgical services provided on an outpatient basis include:

  • Ear, nose and throat procedures- e.g. placement of ear tubes, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
  • General surgery- e.g. inguinal hernia repair, umbilical hernia repair.
  • Dentistry
  • Orthopaedics
  • Ophthalmology- e.g. eye examination, eye muscle surgery.
  • Urology- e.g. circumcision, repair of hydrocele, orchidopexy.
  • Podiatry
  • Hand surgery
  • Plastic surgery

Day of surgery

After registering your child for surgery you will be directed to our preoperative area where you will be seen by several members of the surgical care team. You will be asked questions about your child’s medical history, allergies, current medications, previous anesthetic experience and current health status. Your child’s airway, heart and lungs will be examined.

What to bring on the day of your child’s procedure

Physicians, nurses and staff are all striving to make the hospital experience as child-friendly as possible. Specialists for Norton Children's Hospital Child Life Department are always available to help with children who are especially anxious about their surgery.

Click on the links below to learn more about Child Life:

To schedule a tour of NCMC call (502) 446-5370 at least 5 days prior to your child’s surgery.

To schedule a tour of Norton Children’s Hospital call (502) 629-7542.

Just prior to surgery, a premedication may given through the mouth (in a cherry flavored drink) or the nose (as with nose drops) to help your child relax. These medications reduce any anxiety children may be feeling about the surgery or about missing their family. Also, these medications are potent memory suppressants - children usually do not recall separation from family or falling asleep after receiving these medications. Older children will typically require an IV (intravenous catheter) prior to going to the operating room. At Norton, a special “J-tip” numbing device is used to numb the skin without any needles. This new technology has taken away much of the distress even older children may feel about needles and IVs.

Once in the operating room, our anesthesia team will monitor your child closely. Routine equipment will check on the heart’s electrical activity, blood pressure, oxygen levels in the blood, breathing and temperature. Depending on the child and type of surgery they are having, various techniques to minimize any pain, nausea and irritability will be employed.

After surgery your surgeon will come find you in the waiting room to discuss the procedure while your child is resting after anesthesia. After a short period of recovery you will meet your child in the postoperative area. Nurses will go over discharge instructions and answer any questions you may have. Once your child is home, you will receive a telephone call from one of the perioperative nurses to ensure that everyone is doing well.