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Your First Visit

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

A short stay in the hospital can be stressful for children.  It may consist of unfamiliar routines, people, and machines.  Sometimes it may seem less stressful not to tell your child about having surgery, a test, or even going to the hospital.  However, research and experience tell us that children benefit most from honesty and simple explanations. They will develop trust, understanding and confidence through these explanations.

Infants to Three Years 

A simple mention of the upcoming event one to two days prior to surgery. Reassure your child that you will be going with them to the hospital and returning home with them. It is important for you to be there for your child. The more calm and relaxed you are the more relaxed and calm your child will be as well.


One to two days in advance is sufficient time to provide explanations to the preschooler about the hospital. They tend to understand simple descriptions about surgery and procedures. Parents can reassure and support their children even before the hospital experience has begun. 

School-Aged Child

School-aged children, unlike toddlers and preschoolers, are more able to understand surgery. They can think and reason logically and tend to have a better understanding of the concept.  It is important to let your child know the feelings they are experiencing (being scared) are OK and that you are there if they want to discuss their feelings.


Hospitalizations affect teenagers just as they do young children.  However, there are different needs involved. During adolescence there is an increased need for independence, and hospitalization may cause a loss of independence. Teenagers are private and sometimes would rather discuss their feelings with a friend instead of a parent. It is important to respect their privacy. Encourage your teenager to make a list of questions for the medical staff and bring them to the hospital. It will give them a sense of control. 


Preparation for the Adult Patient 

No aspirin, aspirin derivatives, nsaids, vitamin e, garlic pills, or herbal supplements for two weeks prior to surgery. If you are taking coumadin, warfarin, or plavix, discuss this with your doctor. Tylenol may be taken.


Your anesthesiologist or our office surgery coordinator will call you the night before surgery to advise you of the diet restrictions and surgery arrival time.


Do not bring any valuables with you to the hospital.  You may want to bring slippers and a robe. You will be given an identification armband.  This is necessary for your surgery and should not be removed.


Adult patients must have their physical and blood work completed within 2 weeks prior to surgery. All blood work and physical exam information must be faxed to the surgeon’s office.


Fasting Prior to Surgery

Fasting will be required. For adults, the requirement is typically no food or drink after midnight the day before surgery. You will be contacted 1-2 days prior to surgery. If you have to take a medication the day of surgery, check with your anesthesiologist or surgeon. For children, the hospital nurse will be calling to advise you of fasting instructions.

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