The Anesthesiology Department at Children's Colorado is made up of a multidisciplinary team of highly trained pediatric anesthesia experts. Our team administers more than 33,000 anesthetic procedures per year. We specialize in the unique needs of children undergoing surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Even our operating room and recovery nurses are experts in caring for children.
What you should know about anesthesia
If your child is going to have surgery or a procedure at Children's Colorado, our anesthesia team will first review your child's medical record and details of the operation or procedure. Members of our team will meet with you and your child to ask additional questions and review your child's medical history. We will explain which anesthetic we plan to use and answer any questions you may have.
It is very important to follow certain eating and drinking rules before your child has anesthesia. If your child’s stomach is not empty at the time of anesthesia, stomach contents can come up and enter the lungs (called aspiration) and may cause serious problems. Your child’s surgery may be rescheduled if you do not follow these rules.
Download the eating and drinking rules in English or Spanish.
Why choose Children's Colorado?
Our anesthesiologists are pediatric experts who provide comfort and pain control during and after a surgery or procedure. To do this safely, we are involved in the entire surgery or procedure process. This includes planning and administering the anesthetic, and staying with your child until they have safely recovered from the effects of anesthesia. Sometimes, we even care for your child for several days after surgery, to ensure optimal recovery and pain control.
All attending anesthesiologists at Children’s Colorado specialize in pediatrics. This means they have received additional training beyond residency to specialize in the care of infants and children. Many are also trained in pain medicine and pediatric critical care.
Other members of our team may be involved in your child's anesthetic care, too. Anesthesiologist assistants (AA) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) are advanced practice providers in anesthesia who work under the supervision of our anesthesiologists.
Pediatric anesthesia fellows are physician anesthesiologists who completed their residencies and are receiving advanced training in pediatric anesthesiology. Children's Colorado has one of the most prestigious anesthesiology fellowship programs in the country. Our fellows come to us after graduating from some of the top residencies in the country. Resident anesthesiologists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine spend several months at Children's Colorado under the supervision of our faculty. Residents are physicians who are pursuing additional training. Rounding out our team is a group of nurse practitioners and psychologists who work on our acute and chronic pain services.
Our pediatric anesthesia services
At Children's Colorado, we offer the following anesthesia services:
- Anesthesia evaluation before surgery in our Preoperative Clinic
- Anesthesia services for every type of procedure and surgery – from ambulatory (outpatient) services to high-risk surgeries
- Anesthesia services for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as:
- Inpatient consultation for difficult IV placements
- 24/7 phone access to an anesthesiologist for questions and concerns
- Critical care medicine consultations
- Difficult airway consultations
- 24-hour coverage after surgery
We also provide services in the following subspecialty areas:
- Cardiac anesthesia
- Acute and chronic pain services
- Level I trauma and emergency response coverage by anesthesia providers 24 hours a day in the hospital
- Transplant anesthesia
- Anesthesia for fetal interventions
- Anesthesia care for children with rare pediatric conditions, such as epidermolysis bullosa and mucopolysaccharidosis
- An in-hospital anesthesia simulation program that assists in educating staff to safely manage emergency situations
- Obstetric anesthesia at the Colorado Fetal Care Center
Pediatric anesthesia research at Children's Colorado
The Department of Anesthesiology conducts ongoing clinical and non-clinical research to provide innovative anesthesia care for children. Many of our anesthesiologists are researchers as well as clinicians who have published groundbreaking studies that made important discoveries and advances in anesthesia for infants and children. Your child may qualify for participation in one of our ongoing research studies.
A research assistant may talk to you about our active studies. All research studies are carefully reviewed and approved by The Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board. Our goal is to identify new, safe anesthetic care strategies to maximize comfort and improve outcomes for children. Participation in these studies is completely voluntary.
You may ask your doctor, nurse or anyone on the research team about any of these studies, or you can call 720-777-6226.
Listen to one of our pediatric anesthesiologists, Dr. Bielsky, talk about important differences in how children respond to anesthesia compared to adults.
In this next video, Dr. Bielsky talks about why pediatric anesthesiology is unique and important for children during surgery.
Listen to Dr. Mandler talk about the individualized care and attention that children receive from pediatric anesthesiologists at Children's Colorado.