Health Information

The Child Having Surgery

If your baby needs surgery, you may feel helpless. But there's something you can do to make this experience a little less stressful: breastfeed. Read on for helpful tips.

Before coming to the hospital, remove any watches, necklaces, or earrings that your child wears and leave them at home so they are not misplaced.

Detailed information on surgery in children

During surgery, your child will be given some form of anesthesia - medicine given to relieve pain and sensation.

Detailed information on intraoperative management

Your child will need to know that people in the operating room will be wearing surgical clothes to help prevent germs from infecting the surgical incision.

Most surgical teams include a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist, and an operating room nurse. The number of team members differs depending on the type of surgery performed.

Common discomforts after surgery include nausea and vomiting, soreness in the throat, and restlessness or sleeplessness.

Detailed information on postoperative management

Intensive care is needed for children who have had certain types of major surgery: heart operations, organ transplants, or neurosurgery.

Even after minor surgery, some children will remain in the hospital overnight for observation and to receive medicines to help with pain or to prevent infection.

If your child has moderate to severe pain, he or she may receive narcotics during and after surgery. If your child is in the ICU after surgery, he or she may receive sedatives along with pain medicines.

Play therapy is used to help children understand and cope with illness, surgery, hospitalization, treatments, and procedures.

Once surgery has been completed, your child will be brought to the recovery room, also called the post-anesthesia care unit.

Touring the hospital before surgery can help your child see the sights, sounds, and events he or she will experience the day of surgery. It is a nonthreatening, often reassuring, way to learn about the hospital.

Detailed information on preoperative management

You will be asked to sign an informed consent form. It states in detail that you understand the risks and benefits of your child's surgery.

This is the time to ask questions: What are the expected results? What are the possible risks and complications? How long will the surgery take?

Have your child explain back to you what is going to happen in the hospital. School-aged children sometimes will listen carefully, but not understand all that was said.

Detailed information on preparing the child having surgery

It's important to keep your baby's routine the same before the day of surgery. Make sure you, your baby, and your family are well rested.

One of the major fears preschoolers have is fear of the unknown. Tell your child about the surgery several days before the procedure and perhaps even visit the hospital for a tour.

When your child goes to the hospital, brothers and sisters may feel afraid, worried, or confused. They are often afraid simply because they do not know what to expect, and they may imagine the worst.

Allow your teen to be part of the decision-making process. Encourage him or her to make a list of questions to ask the healthcare providers.

Read books to your toddler about going to the hospital. Keep any explanations simple and be careful of the words you use.

Detailed information on surgery in children

Detailed information on surgery in children

Surgery doesn't always mean large incisions. Minimally invasive surgery is often used today. This uses small cuts, and allows a child to recover faster and with less pain.

Many surgeries performed on children are done as an outpatient. With minor surgeries, your child will return to the outpatient surgery center after spending the required time in the recovery room.

Symptoms of latex allergy include watery or itchy eyes, wheezing, hives, flushing or a skin rash, itching, or swelling.

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