Should we fight to have a g-tube placed in our 10-month-old without general anesthetic? If the hospital insists on general anesthetic, should we find another provider or call the whole thing off?
This question is really for domain experts: medical professionals or scientists in related fields, or parents who have made this same decision themselves in an informed way.
Yesterday, in a big consultation with a pulmonologist, our pediatrician, a dietician and a feeding specialist, we collectively decided to put a g-tube in our daughter (who is chronologically 1 year, but was 2 months premature, and who currently has an NG tube). This was not an easy decision.
Today, I found this NPR article
, based on this Anesthesiology article
, indicating that general anesthesia in under-4-year-olds is linked to learning disabilities later on. The effect was only observed with two or more instances of anesthesia, but of course there's no guarantee our daughter won't need it for something else at some point. I see no real follow-up articles in the literature.
We're told that the hospital where we'll be having this done always uses general anesthesia for this procedure (though I understand that the PEG method of gastrostomy is sometimes done without general). We'll find out for sure tomorrow, when we consult with the GI doc who would perform the procedure.
This hospital (Seattle Children's) is acknowledged as the best in the area. If they say it's general or no deal, should we try to take our business elsewhere? If everyone says the same thing, should we dig in our heels and say no g-tube? The alternative is to stay on the NG tube indefinitely -- probably at least several months.