An article in NPR discusses the physical and emotional experience of children who have to undergo surgery.
The article goes on to read:
Surgery can make anyone anxious, but it is especially hard for young children. Kids going into surgery may be separated from their parents for the first time in a frightening new environment, and they may not understand what’s happening.
“For many families and kids, this is one of the most stressful events in their entire lives,” says Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, an anesthesiologist at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.
Panicking before surgery can cause both physical and emotional problems, research shows. If children are crying, for example, they’re sucking air into their stomachs, which increases the risk that they’ll aspirate saliva into their lungs. Anxiety before surgery can also cause long-term psychological distress and behavioral issues in kids, and it’s been associated with a more painful recovery.