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pre-surgery, surgery and post-surgery

a commitment to help you and your child prepare for neurosurgery

When your child needs neurosurgery, we know it can be a stressful and uncertain time. That is why our team places a high priority on communication. We want you to know what to expect, understand the treatment plan and receive answers to all your questions. Our goal is for your experience at Dayton Children’s to be a positive one!


 For pre-surgery materials on a variety of topics related to surgery at Dayton Children’s, click to Learn more.

Please notify the neurosurgery office immediately if your child becomes ill prior to surgery (fever, cough, congestion, vomiting, diarrhea) (937)-641-3461

pre-surgery tours

If your child is scheduled for surgery, you may be interested in a presurgery tour to help your child feel more at ease. To arrange a tour, please call our child life team at 937-641-5903. You may also order a DVD or video to watch from home.

The pediatric surgical services division at Dayton Children’s has 70 specialists trained to perform surgical procedures on kids, and together they have hundreds of years of experience caring only for kids.

the day prior to surgery

You can expect a phone call the day before from surgery to review instructions, confirm arrival time and confirm that your child is healthy for their surgery so that we can take good care of your child.

We require an empty stomach at the time of surgery.

Your child can have solid foods until midnight prior to surgery.

Please do not force liquids. Only give if your child is thirsty. Examples of clear liquids include water, apple juice, white grape juice, 7UP/Sprite, Jell-O, popsicles, and Pedialyte. Do not give orange juice or any juices containing pulp or particulates or beverages containing orange juice (example: Mountain Dew).  DO NOT give your child red or orange liquids.

prior to arrival

Notify the office if your child has/has had a skin infection.

instructions for CHG bath:

Most surgical infections are caused by germs that ordinarily live on the skin.

To reduce the risk of infection, we ask that you give your child a bath with a solution of 4 percent chlorhexadine gluconate (CHG). There are different brands of CHG, a couple of which are Hibiclens and Betasept. You will be given a prescription for a four-ounce bottle of 4 percent CHG. You may also purchase it over-the-counter if it is not a covered item under your insurance plan. Notify us immediately if a rash develops following the bath.

Shampoo hair, neck to jaw line, and body. Be careful to avoid contact with the face and ears. Leave in place for 3 minutes then rinse. Perform once daily for two days prior to surgery.


Give your child’s scheduled medications, with a tiny sip of water, early on the morning of surgery unless instructed to do otherwise by the surgeon. Children who use an inhaler/nebulizer should be given a treatment on the morning of surgery even if the treatments are not given on a scheduled basis.

other items

Please bring your child’s medications and inhalers to the hospital with you.

If your child has a comfort item, such as a blanket or stuffed toy, please bring that with them to increase their comfort level.


Please arrive two hours prior to surgery for evaluation by the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, as well as completion of lab work, IV placement, giving pre-operative medications and answering any questions that you may have. Please report to the 2nd floor “Day Surgery” for registration.

after surgery

Our team provides education to help you prepare for your child’s post-surgery needs, and in many cases will schedule your child’s follow-up clinic appointment before you leave the hospital.

After patients return home, our team continues to provide support and care. Remember to call the office to schedule your follow-up appointment if it was not scheduled before you were discharged.

Be sure to tell the office staff if the appointment is for a wound check or suture removal.  Please notify us immediately for any signs of wound infection, such as fever, redness, swelling or drainage.

call us if your child has any of these symptoms or you have any concerns


Severe pain (unrelieved by prescription pain medication).

Fever (Temperature >101F or >37.8C). Fever following surgery may indicate a wound infection. It may also indicate ear infection (younger children following anesthesia) or urinary tract infection (after placement of urinary catheter). These conditions require a prescription for antibiotics.

Drainage (Call immediately). Thick yellow drainage (pus) is a sign of wound infection. Clear water-like drainage is a sign of spinal fluid leak. The provider will alert you if spinal fluid leak is a risk after your child’s surgery.

Poor healing or infection (redness, swelling, drainage, fever > 101, or wound coming open).


Office hours 8:00am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday: (937) 641-3461

After hours and weekends, call (937) 641-3000 to reach the on-call provider.

contact us request an appointment

The neurosurgery department welcomes phone calls to 937- 641-3461 during our normal business hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

A physician referral is necessary prior to the child’s first outpatient visit. All follow up appointments will be made during your clinic visit or by calling central scheduling at 937-641-4000.