Preparing for Surgery - Pre-OperativeTours
If your child is uneasy about the surgery process, our Child Life Department’s pre-surgery tour can help. Here, families become more familiar with the staff, equipment and environment so you know what to expect. The tours provided by the Child Life Program give you and your child a chance to pre-register for surgery, go on a fun, educational and age appropriate tour of the surgical areas and to complete any necessary medical tests.
The Child Life Specialist conducts this tour to present accurate information in a non-threatening environment. The tour will provide you and your child with a sense of familiarity with the personnel, environment and equipment.
Parents may contact the Child Life Specialist in order to schedule a time to attend the pre-operative tours. This is a one-hour program which answers questions and includes the following:
- Meet the Child Life Specialist for a brief interview
- Receive an explanation of the procedure in an age-appropriate manner.
- View a picture book of the surgical areas to introduce the children to the actual sites they will see at the hospital.
- Learn about and experiment with an anesthesia breathing mask and recovery room equipment.
- Tour key areas of the hospital including the waiting room, holding area, procedure room and recovery area.
- Pre-register for surgery to expedite the admission process the day of surgery.
- Explain the importance of Nothing Per Oral (NPO), nothing by mouth, which includes but is not limited to no food, no water, no milk, no gum or candy.
Preparation is Key
We want you to know what to expect and how you will be served, so please plan on attending our Child Life Program pre-operative tours.
Please call the Child Life Program office at (210) 297-4083 to register. The tours are offered daily. We meet in the North Central Surgery Center Lobby.
It is important for your child to have an empty stomach going into surgery. We know they get hungry, but these rules are important for their safety.
- No solid food, dairy products, candy or gum after midnight the night before the surgery
- Clear fluids are okay until 2 hours prior to surgery (water, Pedialyte™, Gatorade™, ginger ale, Sprite™, apple juice, Kool-Aid™, Jell-O™ and popsicles without fruit pieces)
- Breast milk is fine up to 4 hours prior to surgery, but no whole mild of any kind
- Formula can be consumed up to 6 hours before surgery
In Case of Illness
If your child has nasal congestion, sneezing or a dry cough, he or she may still safely undergo surgery in most cases. The final decision lies with your anesthesiologist, who will take into account your child’s age, medical history and the planned procedure. As a general rule, if they’re too sick for school, they will likely benefit from delaying surgery
The Day of Surgery
What to Bring
- Insurance information, including your insurance card and a valid ID
- Any laboratory tests or x-rays you obtained from outside sources
- If you are not the parent(s), documentation of legal guardianship. (You will not be able to consent to surgery without legal proof of guardianship.)
Bring a complete list of all medications your child is taking, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Your child may take any required medications the day of surgery as advised by your physician.
If you’re staying overnight, please bring any items that will make your child feel more comfortable, as well as a case to store them in (i.e. glasses, contacts, or jewelry).
Please arrive an hour and a half before the scheduled procedure, unless your physician instructs you otherwise. Our Admission Office is on the first floor in the Atrium Lobby.
- Monday – Friday 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Saturday – Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
If you arrive after 9:00 pm, please enter through the emergency room entrance.
Your child may bathe or shower (using antibacterial soap) and brush their teeth before coming to the hospital.
Admission, Surgery and Afterwards
Once your child is admitted, a nurse will complete the essential paperwork.
During Surgery, family and others can wait in the surgical waiting area on the first floor in the Atrium.
After surgery, the time your child spends in Pediatric Recovery will depend on the type of procedure and their response to the anesthesia. Visitors will be restricted at this time, but the nurse will keep you informed.
How to Reach Us
To confirm the date of surgery or for other questions you have about your child’s care, please call our office at (210) 297-4610. You may also call us if you need to cancel surgery, and we can assist you with rescheduling.