The Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the patient for surgery at Nationwide Children’s Main Campus Surgery Center.

  • We do not allow food or drink in our main pre-op waiting area.
  • Upon arrival, you will sign in and be registered. Please bring all medical insurance information, such as insurance cards or forms. You will be required to present your photo ID at the time of registration. You are responsible for being aware of, and in compliance with, your insurance policy requirements. Be sure to check if insurance precertification is necessary.
  • Please bring all legal guardianship or custody papers, when applicable. Also, patients 18 years or older should bring advance directive forms, if they have them.
  • If you have any questions or are unclear about insurance coverage or billing practices, please call (614) 722-2055.
  • Our pre-op staff will obtain a brief medical history and health assessment of your child prior to surgery.


What is anesthesia?

Anesthesia is the use of medicine to prevent the feeling of pain during surgery. There are two types of anesthesia. “General” anesthesia keeps a person completely unconscious (or “asleep”) during the surgery. They will have no memory of the surgery. “Local” anesthesia numbs only a small part of the body, the surgical site. Nationwide Children’s staff specializes in giving anesthesia to children. They will choose the safest anesthetic for your child.

Can I be present during my child’s sedation/anesthesia?

No. In most cases, parents may not be in the operating room at any time.

Who gives it?

All general anesthetics are given by members of the Department of Anesthesia.

The anesthesia staff consists of doctors specializing in anesthesia for children (anesthesiologists) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists under the direct supervision of the anesthesiologists.

Will I be able to talk with an anesthesiologist?

Yes. An anesthesiologist will review the preoperative assessment with you prior to surgery, discussing the anesthesia and answering questions.

Where does my child wake up?

Your child will recover in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Nurses trained in this phase of recovery provide specialized care. An anesthesiologist is always available should problems arise. Our goal is to have your child back with you as soon as possible.

After Your Child’s Surgery

Can I speak to the doctor after surgery?

The surgeon will speak with you after surgery. The nurses will answer any questions and give you step-by-step verbal and written instructions, as ordered by your surgeon.

Will my child be nauseated after surgery? What other problems can I expect?

A small percentage of children will be nauseated or vomit after surgery. Children having eye surgery or tonsillectomies are more likely to have this problem. If a breathing tube was inserted, your child may have a sore throat or hoarseness for a few days. Intravenous lines (IVs) are placed in almost all children after anesthesia is given. There may be a puncture mark or bruise at the site. In the event of any problem after you arrive home, please call your surgeon’s office, which is listed with your surgery discharge papers. You will be given written discharge instructions that include telephone numbers.