Childr Health Information

General Surgery

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

Your child is scheduled to have outpatient surgery. This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked by parents and children regarding outpatient surgery and home care. If you have any questions after reading this handout, please ask the outpatient nursing staff, the anesthesiologist, or your child’s doctor.

You and your child need to arrive two hours before surgery so that we can perform all the necessary tests and procedures. These tests and procedures include:
1. Admitting procedure – When you get to the hospital, you will need to go to the surgical services department on the second floor. After checking in with the receptionist, you and your child will be taken to the child’s room. The admitting clerk will ask for information about you and your child, including insurance information. She will also make your child a name bracelet. This bracelet must be worn by your child during the entire surgery stay. Please be sure to check the bracelet for the correct spelling of your child’s name, correct birthdate and doctor’s name. Please remember that no siblings (brothers or sisters) are allowed to stay in the day surgery area. The child having surgery will need your full attention on the day of surgery. If you must bring siblings, an adult will need to stay with them in the waiting room on the second floor.
2. Being seen by a nurse – A nurse will admit your child to the unit. She will take your child’s temperature, count his or her breathing and heart rate, and take his or her blood pressure. She will weigh your child and have you dress him or her in hospital pajamas. Your child can leave on his or her underwear and socks for now, but may need to remove them later. The nurse will also ask you to help her fill out the needed paperwork. This includes signing the operative consent form and completing the medical history form. The operative consent form is signed after you have talked with both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. These doctors will answer your questions and explain risks/benefits and alternative treatments in addition to surgery. Remember that the person who has custody of the child must sign the operative consent form.
3. Lab work – A complete blood count (CBC) may be drawn on your child. This is done by sticking your child’s finger or arm. You can stay with your child while this is done. Your child’s doctor may order additional lab tests. If blood work has been drawn on your child in the last seven days, please let us know. This might prevent your child from being stuck for lab work again. Urine tests are done on all girls who are 10 years of age or older.
4. Being seen by the anesthesiologist and getting preoperative medication – The anesthesiologist is the doctor who will put your child to sleep for surgery. The anesthesiologist will look at your child and ask for information about your child’s health and physical condition. The doctor will look at the lab tests and will then decide what kind of medication your child will need before surgery. This doctor will answer any questions you have about the medication that will be used to put your child to sleep and how long your child will be under anesthesia. Please feel free to ask the anesthesiologist any questions you have. Your child may receive medication to drink or as a shot. If your child receives a shot, it usually will be given in the child’s buttocks (bottom) or leg depending on the surgery. Sometimes the anesthesiologist will order the medication to be given through an IV. If your child is older, an IV may be started before surgery. The medications before surgery and the anesthetic can then be given by way of the IV.
5. History and physical – All patients need to have a history and physical done before surgery. This may be done by a surgical resident, the surgeon, nurse practitioner or your child’s regular doctor. If you are asked to have a history and physical done by your doctor before the day of surgery, be sure that you bring those papers with you. If not, your child’s surgery could be canceled.

You will be able to stay with your child until he or she goes into surgery. For safety reasons, we ask that only two adults stay at each child’s bedside. After your child goes into surgery, you will need to check in with the nurse. One parent must stay in the child’s room or waiting room at all times while your child is in surgery.

The surgeon can tell you how long the surgery will take. As soon as your child’s doctor has finished the surgery, he or she will come out and talk to you. Make sure you ask your doctor about instructions for home care (such as diet) about getting the incision wet (such as bathing, showers, or swimming), when the next appointment should be, and when your child can return to school.

When the surgery is over, your child will be in the first stage recovery room for about 30 minutes to an hour or until your child is awake. Some children take longer to awake from the anesthesia than others. This is common. When your child is awake, he or she will be moved back to the room where you can stay with him or her until discharge. Sometimes your child may be crying when you first see him or her. This is because he or she has just awakened and misses you!

Yes, your child needs to have an IV for surgery. It will be used to give your child fluids and medication. Children under the age of eight usually have their IV started in surgery after they have fallen asleep from the mask anesthesia. The IV must stay in place until your child is almost ready to go home.

The surgeon should tell you what the surgery site will look like after surgery and how he or she wants you to care for the surgery site.

The nurse will be checking your child often (every 15 minutes) after surgery. He or she will be doing this to make sure your child is recovering well and to help decide when your child can be discharged from the hospital. Most children will stay in the outpatient room for one to four hours depending on what kind of surgery was done and how long they were under the anesthetic. Usually, your child can be discharged to home after he or she:
1. Is fully awake,
2. Has stable vital signs: (This means their temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure are in their normal range) and
3. Is not having acute pain. We can give your child Tylenol® if he or she is uncomfortable from the surgery.

The nurse will give you specific instructions for home care. After you have read these instructions, the nurse will answer any questions you may have. When your child is ready to go home, he or she can be carried or taken down to the front door in a wheelchair. It is preferred that one adult bring the car to the front entrance for your child’s convenience. The day after surgery you and your child will receive a follow-up phone call from one of the nurses. Please let us know how everything went after surgery. Feel free to make any comments. We are concerned about your child and how things are going. If you have any questions after reading this paper, the outpatient nursing staff, the anesthesiologist or your child’s doctor can answer them.

PDF: Child Health Information - GENERAL SURGERY

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Preparado: 1991
Corregido: 1999, 2003

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Formulated: 1991
Revised: 1999, 2003


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