Anesthesia Exposure linked to Learning Disabilities

Although many surgeries are necessary, some adoptive families choose to have elective surgeries when their child comes home. In the US, particularly, many families choose to circumcise their sons for purely "cosmetic reasons". Perhaps, the following research might make them reconsider.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that children undergoing multiple surgeries in their first three years of life are at a higher risk of developing learning disabilities according to the April 2009 issue of the journal Anesthesiology.

Researchers found that although 1 exposure to anesthesia was not harmful, more than one nearly doubled the risk of a child being diagnosed with a learning disability by the age of 19.

What remains unclear is whether or not the disability is caused by the anesthesia, or is a result of the "...physiological stress of surgery; or perhaps the medical problems that made surgery necessary..."

In addition to this study, other studies have linked exposure to anesthesia with behavioral problems.


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