Touring the hospital before surgery can help your child see the sights, sounds, and events he or she will experience the day of surgery. It's a safe, often reassuring, way to learn about the hospital. Contact the hospital to schedule a tour.
If you have questions about how to address your child's needs, ask to speak to a child life specialist. He or she can explain what will happen, and why, in terms your child can understand. Child life specialists can also help siblings prepare for the changes in their routine and express their feelings.
The preoperative clinic makes sure that your child is ready for his or her scheduled surgery. Bring your insurance information. Also bring a list of all medicines your child is taking, including both prescription and over-the-counter. If lab work is needed, it will be done at this time. You will also meet with an anesthesiologist. He or she will ask questions about your child's health history, medicines, and allergies. He or she will be able to address any concerns or questions you have about anesthesia. If your child has had any problems with surgery or anesthesia in the past, let the hospital staff know during this visit.
When you leave the preoperative clinic, you will be given written instructions to follow. Make sure you understand all of them before leaving the clinic. Instructions will include when your child can eat or drink before coming to the hospital. It will also tell you if he or she should take any of his or her usual medicines the day of surgery. When returning for surgery, bring any security items your child needs. These could be a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or pacifier.
Be sure you understand the instructions about eating and drinking before surgery. If your child doesn't follow the eating and drinking instructions before surgery, it will cause the surgery to be delayed.