Carolinas HealthCare System

Sometimes undergoing a medical procedure doesn’t require your child to be fully sedated. When possible, the expert anesthesiology team at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, may decide to administer a regional anesthesia medicine, which will numb only the area of your child’s body where a procedure is taking place.

How Does Regional Anesthesia Work?

Regional anesthesia differs from local anesthesia, in that it focuses on a larger portion of the body; whereas local anesthesia is focused on a small part, such as a tooth.

If our physicians or surgeons determine your child needs regional anesthesia, they will speak with you about the best ways to give him or her the medication. Regional anesthesia may be administered through an epidural (an injection in the sac of fluid around the spinal cord); a shot; or an intravenous catheter (IV), where the anesthesia can be injected directly into your child’s vein.

When Is Regional Anesthesia Used?

Regional anesthesia is often used along with general anesthesia. The medication is usually administered after the child has fallen asleep and will last about one to two hours following the procedure. 

Before your child goes in for a procedure, it’s helpful to understand the effects of anesthesia. Read more about anesthesia.