A UNC pediatric patient receives anesthesia from two UNC team members

Pediatric Anesthesiology

When your child needs surgery, be assured that UNC Children’s pediatric anesthesiology specialists will work to keep him or her safe, comfortable, and pain- and anxiety-free.

Experts in Caring for Children

When you choose UNC Children’s, you can be confident your child is getting the best care for his or her age and condition. That means your child is receiving care from a physician who has received specialized training in:

  • Creating a calm, nonthreatening environment for your child
  • Planning safe anesthesia and pain management based on your child’s height, weight, and medical condition
  • Providing safe anesthesia care during surgery
  • Managing pain after surgery as needed

Services We Offer

a UNC pediatric patient drives in a mini car toward the operating room while a UNC anesthesiologist walks behind herAt UNC Children’s, our team of more than a dozen board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists, plus certified nurse anesthetists, provide specialized services to more than 12,000 children each year. Take advantage of our expertise and experience in delivering safe, effective anesthesia and pain control, including:

  • General anesthesia – Induces a deep sleep and prevents pain during a medical procedure
  • Local anesthesia – Numbs a small, specific area of the body by way of a shot, spray, or ointment; lasts for short period of time
  • Regional anesthesia – Blocks pain to a particular area of the body by numbing a cluster of nerves for a period of time; often used along with general anesthesia during and after a surgical procedure
  • Cardiac anesthesia – Specializes in caring for children undergoing heart surgery
  • Sedation services – Minimizes pain and anxiety for procedures outside the operating room
  • Pain management – Relieves acute or chronic/recurring pain

We are equally proud to highlight the cases that ultimately do not require our sedation or anesthesia. When your child has a minor procedure or diagnostic test, sometimes the art of distraction can take the place of sedation. UNC Children’s team includes amazing child life specialists, and we also have state-of-the-art tools like MRI compatible goggles, which enable a child to watch a movie during a lengthy imaging test.

How to Prepare

We have a few guidelines for preparing your child for a procedure which require anesthesia. These include instructions for food and drink to avoid the night before. Please know that these guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of all of our patients and not following them could result in a procedure being cancelled or postponed.

Anesthesia Care During Surgery

A member of your child’s anesthesia care team will remain by his or her side throughout surgery. We’ll constantly monitor blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and more and will adjust medications whenever necessary to keep your child safe and comfortable.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a physician’s referral for surgical care at UNC Children’s. For more information, talk to your doctor or call us at 919-966-4220.