Children are not little adults, and depending on their size and age, there are many special considerations that must be given to their cases. As a parent, you do everything in your power to protect your children and give them the best. You are also the one who knows your child the best. When you are looking for a pediatric surgeon, you are undoubtedly searching for someone who is sensitive to the needs of your child and experienced caring for kids.
At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Roaten and his skilled surgical team only care for children, so we are more than prepared to give your little one the specialized care they need and deserve. Follow along today as we discuss some of the special considerations that both your child’s surgical team and you, as a parent, should afford your child facing surgery.
In Alaska, like most states, the age of consent to make medical or legal decisions is 18 years. The exception is minors who are living apart from their parents and managing their own financial affairs. It is important to understand the age of consent, as parents will be responsible for medical decisions for any person under the age of 18. Never would we violate a child’s wishes or do anything against their will, but as the parent, you will have to be present, sign legal forms, and be responsible for discussing the options with your child. At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, we always discuss the pending procedure, risks, benefits, and potential outcomes with both our patients and their parents.
Kids are smart. They are curious, and they like to explore. However, they may not have the comprehension it takes to understand complex medical procedures regarding things they cannot see and touch. For most patients, medical professionals will speak in lay terms and printed materials are generally kept at an eighth- to tenth-grade comprehension level. For children who are younger than this, it takes a skilled expert to explain things at the child’s level without oversimplifying or downplaying the gravity of the situation. At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, our skilled team is experienced at explaining procedures and what to expect to kids of all ages. We can even help parents find the explanations they need.
Dosing and Medication Allowances
As we mentioned before, children are not small adults. Medication doses are based on weight, metabolism, and body processes. Some medication can alter the healthy development of children, and extreme caution must be used. It is important that your child’s medical team is experienced with pediatric dosing and that you are well-educated on the medications your child will receive. You will not administer them the same way you would take them yourself.
Ability to Express Pain
Children are always on the go! Some children are not able to understand the pain they are feeling or that they must take it easy to avoid reoccurring or aggravating the source of their pain. Additionally, children experience and express pain differently than adults. It is important for both you and your child’s surgical team to identify your child’s pain scale and behaviors that indicate pain. At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, we know the signs to look for and can help you manage pain safely for your little one. Surgery has the potential to be painful for anyone, and we are here to help minimize pain for your child.
Growth and Development
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when performing surgery on children is their growth and development. Unlike surgical procedures on an adult, for children who are still growing, a comprehensive plan must be in place to accommodate growth. This may require step procedures or specialized equipment that will allow your child to develop normally despite their surgical procedure. At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, we will evaluate your child and develop a complete plan before performing any surgery. Because our focus is exclusively on children, we are able to plan for the full future and anticipate growth and development — and help support it!
If your child needs surgical intervention, turn to the skilled pediatric surgical team that cares for all of Alaska’s children. At Alaska Pediatric Surgery, we care for children ages 18 seconds to 18 years. Whether your child needs an emergency appendectomy in Anchorage or a scheduled Broviac placement in Wasilla, our team offers caring, expert care. Contact us for your evaluation today!