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Your Child's Surgery

What can I expect the day of my child's surgery?

You and your child need to arrive at least an hour before the surgery time. There are four steps to your child's surgery: reception, pre-op, surgery and recovery. If there is anything your child is scared or worried about, this is the time to let us know.

Reception: Once you arrive to the 2nd floor of the surgery tower or the Outpatient Procedure Center, use the self check-in kiosks to check in your child. TMC volunteers will help you with using the kiosk and make sure you are in the right place. There is a dedicated child waiting area complete with toys, TV and video games. A staff member will call your child's identification number or name to complete the registration process and get your child ready to go to his or her pre-op room.

Pre-Op: This is the room where the nurse will help get your child ready for surgery. The nurse will check your child's height and weight, temperature, heart rate and oxygen level. Your child will then change into a hospital gown or "hospital pajamas." The nurse will continue to ask you questions regarding your child, and you will mee the rest of the medical team.  Feel free to ask any last-minute questions at this time. Some children may receive medicine in pre-op to help them relax before going back to the operating room. If your child is older than 11 years or weighs more than 100 pounds, an IV will most likely be started here in pre-op.

Surgery: After you have met  your child's medical team, it will be time for your child to go to the operating room. Some parents ask if they can go back with their child; this needs to be discussed with the anesthesiologist. We ask that at least one parent stays in the lobby the entire time your child is in surgery. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will talk to you in the lobby. A nurse will take you back to be with your child in the recovery area once your child has woken up from anesthesia. Each child is unique, as some take longer to wake up than others.

Recovery: Only parents are allowed in the recovery area, so please bring another adult if you have children with you. Once your child wakes up, the nurse will make sure your child is feeling OK and doing well. Your child will most likely still have an IV in the recovery area. The nurses will take out this IV and take your child off any monitors. On the way home, it can be helpful to have two adults present – one to drive and one to take care of your child.

Once you get your child home, be sure to follow your physician's instructions. Your physician will be able to tell you when your child can return to school or other regular activities. Expect your child to be in some pain. That is normal. Your instructions will include guidelines for helping your child with pain.