Anesthetic Neurotoxicity in Congenital Hand Surgery: An Overview of the Evidence and Advice for Counseling Parents

Michael S. Gart*, Santhanam Suresh, Joshua M. Adkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Millions of children undergo general anesthesia for surgical procedures each year, the implications of which are not fully understood. Animal models demonstrate neurotoxicity and long-term cognitive impairment following exposure to common general anesthetic agents. However, it is unclear if human brains are affected in a similar fashion and what—if any—the implications on cognitive development may be. Furthermore, it is not known if these effects are additive and if they can be avoided by delaying reconstruction. Here, we explore reconstructive surgical timelines for common congenital hand differences in light of the available anesthetic neurotoxicity evidence, with an emphasis on preoperative counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-568
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017



  • anesthetic neurotoxicity
  • Congenital hand differences
  • congenital hand reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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