Overview Stony Brook Children's pediatric anesthesiologists are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive anesthesia, sedation and perioperative care for pediatric surgical, diagnostic and interventional procedures, as well as pain management for children. Leaders in their field, our pediatric anesthesiology team not only provides expert clinical care, but also serves as faculty for the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, conducts significant research and champions a child-centered approach to pediatric services hospital-wide. Their work is conducted in the operating and recovery rooms, interventional and diagnostic radiology departments, radiation oncology and the pediatric inpatient units. They work in close coordination with pediatric surgeons and pediatric intensivists including those in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units as well as the new Pediatric Emergency Department. They work with nearly 6,500 patients yearly.
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Our Team A pediatric anesthesiologist is a physician who has completed medical school, at least four years of medical training (a year of internship and three years in an anesthesiology residency program), and at least one year of a pediatric anesthesia fellowship program. Pediatric anesthesiologists continually monitor the patient's vital functions such as breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and fluid and blood needs, and make medical decisions relating to operative care. They ensure the child's safety during the procedure by using anesthetics and techniques tailored to the specific medical condition. They manage post-procedural pain during the period following an intervention, assuring the child is as comfortable as possible. They also provide consultation throughout the institution on diverse areas, including sedation medications, pain control, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care, preoperative optimization of pediatric patients, and airway management.
At Stony Brook Children's our pediatric anesthesiology core team consists of five fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists. We also have a pediatric anesthesiology technician specially trained in maintaining the unique equipment in each of our pediatric anesthesia mobile carts.
Services Studies have proven that specialty-trained pediatric anesthesiologists make a difference in surgical outcomes, especially in infants and children ages three and under. Our pediatric anesthesiologists perform three major clinical roles: pediatric perioperative care, pediatric diagnostic and interventional procedures, and pediatric pain management services.
Pediatric Perioperative Care. Before, during and after inpatient or outpatient surgery, pediatric anesthesiologists are responsible for the medical management, monitoring, and control of the patient's pain and consciousness to make conditions safe for successful surgery and recovery. The process begins with preoperative screening and continues through surgery and postoperative recovery. Following a procedure, we will attend to your child’s needs, which may include prescribing pain medicine or other therapies to ensure he or she remains comfortable.
Pediatric Diagnostic and Interventional Procedures. As medical technologies have multiplied, so have the number of diagnostic and interventional procedures that can be performed noninvasively. However, these require a cooperative and motionless patient, which can be difficult for young children. Pediatric anesthesiologists set the stage for success by providing care for children undergoing radiological imaging and CT, MRI and PET scanning; endoscopy and gastrointestinal procedures; cardiac catheterization; and other tests and treatments. Their responsibility is to tailor the level of sedation or anesthesia to the patient's needs. The team works to make the experience as comfortable as possible and support the child and family with empathic, state-of-the-art care.
Pediatric Pain Management Services. Our team also prescribes and administers therapies for children experiencing pain due to cancer, burns, or other acute or chronic illnesses or injuries. The pediatric pain service is a subdivision of the adult pain service. We work with our adult pain colleagues to assure the same high level of care for pediatric pain control. We routinely place epidural and spinal anesthetics where indicated for patient care. Epidural catheters may be placed for longer pain control in the post-operative period. These modes can be used in newborns up to adolescents. In addition, with the support of our orthopedic surgical colleagues, we place regional blocks under general anesthesia to assist postoperative pain control for these procedures.
Patient Resources From infancy to adolescence, children's psychosocial needs as well as their physiology are different from those of adults — and they are constantly evolving. The Pediatric Anesthesiology Division at Stony Brook Children's recognizes this fact and strives to incorporate it into our approach to care:
Inpatient Pre-admission Tour Children scheduled for an inpatient admission can take a pre-admission tour with their families. To make an appointment for a pre-admission tour, call Child Life Services at (631) 444-3840. Tours are scheduled on weekends.
Outpatient Surgery The Ambulatory Surgery Center is well suited for pediatric surgery with a dedicated preoperative play area. Families are permitted to be together in the recovery room. Parents and children also are welcome to arrange a preoperative tour of the Ambulatory Surgery Center. Call (631) 444-9400 for more information.
Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at:
FAQs also are answered at:
Diagnostic and Interventional Procedures. Information about pediatric anesthesiology for CT and MRI can be found at:
Find fasting guidelines at:
Research and Education Teaching the next generation of physicians and conducting research are key elements of the pediatric anesthesiology division's mission. We teach medical students and residents through the Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as health science majors in the Stony Brook University School of Technology and Management. Anesthesia residents rotate through all of the anesthesia subspecialties including pediatric anesthesiology. Residents also have the opportunity to work on ongoing research projects as well as develop their own projects with the division members.
Like our colleagues at Stony Brook in adult anesthesiology, our faculty conducts a variety of basic, clinical and translational research, and is widely published on topics ranging from clinical techniques in pediatric sedation for MRI to pharmacodynamics in the fetal brain. We also are involved in researching new ways to improve skill development and education for medical students and post-graduate medical trainees.
Advances and Recognitions
Definitions General anesthesia - General anesthesia renders patient unconscious for the duration of the surgery or procedure. This level of anesthesia usually involves intravenous drugs or inhaled gasses that block memory, pain, and movement.