Perioperative Psychiatric Conditions and Their Treatment in Children and Adolescents

  • Orna Alpert
  • Imran Iqbal
  • Gabriela Andrade
  • Raman Marwaha
  • Johnathan Ebben
  • Katherine Zappia


Approximately four million surgical procedures are performed in children annually ranging from elective to life-saving surgeries. This chapter focuses on four common psychiatric conditions in the perioperative period: anxiety, depression, delirium, and aggression. We provide an overview of our current understanding of these conditions, discuss tools for assessment, and outline treatment options across different pediatric age groups.

The focus of this chapter is perioperative psychiatric conditions and their management in children and adolescents. We begin by reviewing the most common surgeries performed in children. Next, we discuss the four most common psychiatric conditions physicians face in the perioperative period. Discussion of management will then proceed in the “Treatment” section.

Surgery can be a stressful and traumatic experience for children and also for their caregivers, and as a result it could lead to anxiety and fear. Understanding the psychological impact of surgery in the context of the pediatric patient’s developmental stage is necessary to minimize or, in the best of cases, overcome these stressful experiences. Regardless of the type of surgery, non-pharmacological and occasionally pharmacological preparation is useful in reducing psychological burden in this patient population and prevent lasting emotional trauma.


Perioperative Surgery Children Anxiety Autism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orna Alpert
    • 1
  • Imran Iqbal
    • 2
  • Gabriela Andrade
    • 3
  • Raman Marwaha
    • 4
  • Johnathan Ebben
    • 5
  • Katherine Zappia
    • 5
  1. 1.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Children Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Metro Health CareClevelandUSA
  5. 5.Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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