close   X

2/26/24 blog post

a day in the life of a same-day surgery patient

Have you ever wondered what happens if your child has same-day surgery? How long does it take, and what does it entail? Maybe you've never heard of the program and now you're curious. Well, you're not alone!

The same-say surgery program at Dayton Children's is intended for patients with inguinal and umbilical hernias, as well as undescended testicles, circumcision, ingrown toenails and tongue ties. The program allows families the ability to schedule a surgical consult and the operation on the same day at Dayton Children's convenient south campus in Springboro.

Program benefits:

  • Minimizes time away from school and work
  • Surgery is performed on a Friday; most kids recover over the weekend and return to school the following Monday
  • Reduced office visits and time spent in a healthcare setting. Most same-day surgery patients are in and out of the hospital within 3 to 4 hours, and that includes their surgery!

To help understand the process, we shadowed Logan from start to finish during his same-day surgery, documenting each step along the way.

before surgery

A week before Logan's big day at Dayton Children's, his mom receives a call from the surgery clinic after receiving a referral from Logan's pediatrician. The kind voice on the other end wanted to make sure Logan was an eligible candidate for same-day surgery. After several questions and determining that he would make a perfect patient for the program, she provided detailed instructions regarding eating, drinking, taking medications and what to do if Logan developed an illness prior to surgery.

day of surgery

8:15 am - Filled with excitement and nerves, Logan and his mom arrive at Dayton Children's south campus in Springboro. Logan is immediately distracted by the playful decorations and colorful lights and forgets why he is at the hospital. Mom, however, reminds him they must head to the second floor and check in for his clinic consultation.



8:30 am - Logan's name is called from the door to the clinic space by a welcoming voice. Kalista, a patient care assistant (PCA) for the surgery clinic leads Logan and his mom to their consultation room. Here she measures his weight and height and gets the other necessary vitals to make sure he is healthy and ready for surgery. Shortly after Kalista collects Logan's vitals, Dr. Arturo Aranda, division chief of pediatric surgery, enters the room. He begins his evaluation to determine if Logan is a candidate for same-day surgery. While evaluating Logan, Dr. Aranda answers questions mom has about the surgery and recovery, making her feel more at ease. After completing his evaluation, Dr. Aranda agrees that Logan will make an excellent candidate for same-day surgery, and he asks Kalista to put him on the surgery schedule for later that morning.


9:30 am - After Kalista coordinates Logan's surgery details, she walks him and his mom to the surgery center where they meet Christine, who walks them through the surgery registration process. She gives both Logan and mom special bracelets so everyone knows who they are and that they belong together. She also gives mom a code that is unique to Logan. The code will appear on monitors throughout the surgery center and mom will be able to tell where he is in the surgical process based on the color of his code.


9:40 am -  Logan and his mom are led back to his pre-op room. He changes into a surgical gown, Kristen and Sunshine record Logan's vitals and answer any lingering questions mom has. To keep Logan occupied, Kristen and Sunshine hand him a box of markers and begin playing tic-tac-toe on his bed. One thing leads to another, and Logan's sheet is transformed into a canvas of colors, once again making him forget about his pre-surgery nerves.


10:00 am - It's time for surgery! After an infinite amount of hugs and kisses (and maybe a few tears from mom), Logan climbs into a cool blue car and pretends to drive through the operating room doors. While Logan is in the good hands of Dr. Aranda and the rest of the surgical staff, mom remembers passing the UpCafe on their way to the surgery center. With Logan's special code in hand, she grabs a cup of coffee and finds a place to wait where she can watch his progress on the monitors.


11:00 am - Logan's mom watches the monitors as his code moves from surgery to recovery. The surgical staff calls her name and leads her to a consultation room where Dr. Aranda joins her. He goes over the details of Logan's surgery and lets her know that she will be able to see him as soon as he wakes up from the anesthesia. Shortly after speaking with Dr. Aranda, mom is taken back to recovery where she finds Logan being attended to by staff with warm blankets and a slushy in his favorite flavor, blue raspberry!


Noon - It's time to go home! Logan gets dressed and the nursing team goes over discharge instructions with mom. Logan's mom receives a printout with wound care instructions and a direct phone number to call if an issue occurs. Minutes later, they are walking out of the hospital.




Home recovery - Once home, Logan settles in on the couch with a snack and his favorite movie. He isn't in much pain, but he does feel worn out from the day's activities. Over the weekend it will be important that Logan rests as much as possible, so he is ready to return to school on Monday.

Monday morning - Logan is feeling great, and he is ready to go back to school. Mom is grateful that he was able to recover over the weekend and they only had to take one day off from school and work.

two weeks later

Follow-up call - After two weeks have passed since Logan's surgery, mom receives a call from a nurse in the surgery clinic. She checks in to make sure Logan's recovery is going well and asks mom if she has any questions. Mom shares that Logan is doing great! He is completely healed and back to his regular activities.

"The same-day surgery program was a blessing for our family. It meant less time away from school and work, a smooth journey from clinic to recovery and the comfort of knowing our child was in expert hands every step of the way. Grateful for a program that truly puts families first!" - Logan's mom

Arturo Aranda pediatric surgeon
star star star star star

Arturo Aranda, MD, FACS, CPE

division chief surgery
schedule appointment
view full bio