A recently concluded study finds that the use of anesthesia especially for an early childhood surgery poses adverse health effects in the latter part of a child's life. Kids who are exposed to surgical anesthesia before age four tend to have slightly lower school grades at age 16 compared to other kids. However, experts have emphasized that the difference would only be very small and this should not discourage parents from having any kinds of necessary surgeries.
In the online publication of the journal JAMA Pediatrics, a study involving nearly 200,000 Swedish children suggests a marginal association between exposures to anesthesia for surgery before the age of 4 and a slightly lowered level of IQ scores at age 18 as compared with those who'd had no anesthesia during those early years.
CBS News reports that the study did not indicate whether the results of the study are applicable to children with riskier surgeries having the need for the use of anesthesia. Researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institute along with other doctors elsewhere consider the result of the study as reassuring.
Furthermore, some of the common procedures that the study has considered were hernia, repairs; ear, nose or throat surgeries; and abdominal operations which researchers say have lasted for an hour or less.
On the other hand, as per Daily Mail, study lead author Dr. Pia Glatz from Karolinska Institute has also claimed that other factors such as the mothers' education level were found to create more impact on academics and intelligence measures rather than the use of anesthesia for surgical purposes. One journal editor has also added that the result of the study indirectly means that the early use of anesthesia cannot induce a long term risk.