Services > Pediatric Cardiac Care Home > Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Preparing Your Child For Surgery


The Night Before Surgery

The Preoperative Diet

The day before surgery your child may eat and drink normally; however, after midnight the night before surgery he/she will not be allowed to eat or drink anything so the stomach can be empty during the operation.

Day of Surgery

Before Surgery

Your child will be admitted to the pediatric observation area (Unit 2800). In the observation area, your child will change into a hospital gown. You may stay with your child until he or she is taken into the operating room. A nurse will start an IV. Your child will get medicine to make them sleepy and relaxed 15 to 30 minutes before they are taken to the operating room. During the surgery, the doctor will give medications and fluids through the IV. Ask the nurse about EMLA, a numbing cream, which can make starting an IV less painful for your child. The EMLA cream takes about 30 minutes to work.

Where To Wait During Surgery

During the operation family members are requested to sit in the waiting area in the children's hospital lobby located on the first floor. When the surgery is completed, you will be instructed to go to Unit 5800 where the surgeon will give you a report on your child's condition. After hours (after 5 P.M. Monday-Thursday, 2 P.M. on Fridays, weekends and holidays, please check in with Unit 5800 secretary.

Intensive Care Unit

Your child is admitted directly from the operating room to intensive care. During the first hour various tubes and lines are connected to the monitors, vital signs recorded and blood samples sent to the lab. This takes about one hour after which parents are allowed to visit for 5-10 minutes every hour. The ICU staff understands how important it is for you to visit with your child and will make every effort to facilitate your visiting, but it is essential the doctors and nurses be able to perform their work efficiently during this vital time period. Because children are healing and space is limited, we ask there be no more than two visitors in the room at a time.

After the Surgery