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Your Child's Surgery: Working with Hospital Staff

Your child is having surgery. This may be a frightening experience for both you and your child. You can help your child by learning more about what happens during surgery. Know what to expect. Do this by speaking with hospital staff and getting to know your child’s health care team. Ask questions and become informed. Then, do what you can to prepare your child. This can relieve some of your child’s fears and also build trust between you, your child, and your child’s health care team.

Questions You May Have for the Surgeon

  • Why is surgery needed?

  • What are the risks and benefits of surgery?

  • Who will perform the surgery?

  • Will there be a resident, student, or trainee assisting in my child's surgery?

  • What role will residents or trainees play in my child's surgery and post-op care?

  • How long will surgery take?

  • What tests does my child need before surgery?

  • Does my child need to follow any special instructions before surgery?

  • What type of pain is expected after surgery and what medication will my child need at home?

  • How long will it take my child to recover from surgery in the hospital and at home?

  • Will my child require any special equipment at home after surgery?

  • Will my child need a blood transfusion during surgery?

Questions You May Have for the Anesthesiologist

  • Will my child feel any pain during surgery?

  • What kind of anesthesia will my child have?

  • What are the risks of anesthesia?

  • Does my child need to stop eating and drinking before receiving anesthesia?

  • How will anesthesia be given to my child?

  • Will there be a nurse anesthetist or anesthesia assistant involved in my child's anesthesia care?

  • Will there be a resident, student, or trainee assisting in my child's anesthesia care?

  • What is an IV?

  • How long does it take for my child to fall asleep with anesthesia?

  • Does my child need to stop taking any medications?

  • How long will my child be asleep?

  • Will you be in the operating room with my child?

  • Can I stay with my child when anesthesia is started?

  • How quickly will my child wake up after surgery?

  • Can I be in the recovery room when my child wakes up?

  • What will my child be like after waking up from surgery?

  • How long does it take for the anesthesia to wear off?

Questions You May Have for the Surgery Department

  • What kind of forms do I need to fill out to register my child for surgery?

  • What kind of health insurance do you accept?

  • How will I be billed?

  • When should I schedule my child’s pre-op visit?

  • What do I need to bring to the hospital for the pre-op visit?

  • Are tours of the surgery area available?

  • Is there a child life specialist available?

  • What should I bring to the hospital on the day of my child’s surgery?

  • Who should I call if my child gets sick before surgery?

 

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