Preparing your child for surgery
Good preparation can help kids feel less anxious about the anesthesia and surgery and get through the recovery period faster. But, like parents everywhere, you're probably uncertain about the best way to prepare your child.
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Take a Surgery Tour
View our tours and share them with your child so you both know what to expect before you arrive.
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Pre-Surgery Instructions for the Main OR
One to four days before your child’s surgery at the Main OR, a nurse will call you to obtain a health history. The day before your child’s surgery, a nurse will call you to discuss:
Current health status
Arrival time (typically two hours before the surgery)
Map, directions and parking
Eating and Drinking Restrictions
There will be food and drink your child cannot have before surgery. It is very important to follow the directions to avoid problems during surgery. If you do not follow the directions, we may need to cancel and reschedule for another day. Please note: “Food” includes milk, candy, gum, formula, thickeners, infant cereal and fluids with matter, such as orange juice, cider and broth. Clear liquids include water, Pedialyte®, clear apple juice and Sprite®. Breast milk restrictions can be discussed with the nurse giving you the pre-op instructions.
Who to Call
If you have not been contacted by 6 p.m. on the day before your child’s scheduled surgery date, please call the Nationwide Children’s Main Operating Room at (614) 722-5200, Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What to Wear
Children should wear loose, comfortable clothing. Remove all jewelry, body piercings, nail polish, hair braids, beads and extensions. Bring a box or case to keep contacts and removable orthodontic appliances during surgery.
What to Bring
Bring a favorite pacifier, toy, blanket or other comfort object. Bring an empty bottle or sippy cup if your child has a favorite. Older children enjoy having music or a handheld game system. Adults, age 18 and over, should bring a copy of advance directives, if they have one.
Please limit visitors to two adults.
Adults, age 18 or over, who are scheduled for surgery must arrange for a designated driver to take them home after the procedure.