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The day of surgery

Checking in:

  • Please arrive on time. The time of your arrival is usually 1-1.5 hours before the time of the scheduled surgery. This allows enough time for the nurses to check you in, anesthesia to see your child and our surgeon to meet with you. We make every effort possible to shorten this time but most of the time it is determined by the operating room administration as well as how busy the schedule is.

  • We try to follow our surgery schedule as closely as possible. However, unexpected delays may occur. We thank you in advance for your patience.

  • Please bring a list of your child medications and his favorite item(s).

Pre-operative assessment:

  • In the pre-operative area you will be greeted by a nurse who will give your child a hospital gown, an ID bracelet and a hat depending on your child age. The nurse will check your child temperature, weight, pulse and blood pressure. All information will be entered in a chart. The nurse will also obtain your phone number to be able to update you during surgery and arrange for you to meet with the surgeon afterwards.

  • In older children and adolescents, an IV will be placed in the arm in the pre-operative area after applying a numbing cream to the skin. 

  • You will meet with the anesthesiologist who will go over the anesthesia details and obtain  the anesthesia consent.

  • You will also meet our surgeon who will go over the details of the procedure one last time, answer all your questions and obtain the surgical consent.

  • Sometimes, anesthesia will request some blood work or a urine sample prior to surgery. This is to ensure the safety of your child during surgery.

  • If your child has a fever higher than 100, cough, signs of an ear infection or a respiratory illness, anesthesia may opt to cancel the surgery. For an elective surgery, we want to maximize the chances of your child recovering without making his/her condition worse.

  • Hospital regulations sometimes limit the number of accompanying adults to one. This is usually the case for older children and adolescents but does not apply to babies or younger children. We appreciate your understanding regarding this.

  • During your stay in the pre-operative area, several people will ask you the same questions. Do not be alarmed, this is our way to make sure nothing is missed.

During surgery:

  • After your child goes to surgery, a nurse will guide you to the waiting area where you will meet the surgeon after the procedure.

  • Please make sure there is always one parent available in the waiting area at all times in case the operating room or surgeon has any updates for you.

  • For procedures that might take longer than 2 hours, our operating room nurse will give you an update by phone regarding the progress of surgery 2 hours after starting. We will update you hourly afterwards. Please make sure we have a good phone number we can reach you at.

  • This might be a good time to pick up your child prescription from a nearby pharmacy if you opt to do so.

  • After the surgery is done, your surgeon will come out to talk to you and let you know how the surgery went. He will also go over the details of the post-operative care. THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD AT HOME.

After surgery:

  • After your child is done with surgery, he/she will be brought to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). There, your child will recover from anesthesia before going home or to an inpatient pediatric unit.

  • You will be invited to be with your child as he/she begins to recover. The PACU usually allows only 2 adults at the bedside.

  • There will be at least 1 nurse helping to monitor and wake your child from anesthesia. Your child may have several tubes and drains. Your child will also be attached to monitors to track his/her heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure.

  • It is normal for children to be confused, cry and experience restlessness when waking up from anesthesia. Fortunately, your child will not have any memory of this.

  • Some pain is common after surgery. It is important for you to reassure your child and let the nurse assess the pain level appropriately. We can usually help with a variety of IV or oral pain medicine.

  • Other common symptoms after anesthesia include nausea, vomiting, having chills and looking puffy. A variety of medications can be given for nausea and to relax your child.

  • It is important to let your child recover smoothly, some children may take longer time than usual to clear up the anesthetic. This is OK.

  • When your child wakes up, he/she will usually be thirsty or hungry. Please ask your nurse before giving your child any thing to eat or drink. The doctor might have left instructions for your child not to take anything by mouth.

  • When your child is ready to go home, your nurse will let you know. The nurse will also provide you with written instructions regarding care after surgery. There will also be a phone number to call for questions and instructions on what to watch for and when to call. Your nurse will make sure all your prescriptions are available or already sent to the pharmacy. Please do not hesitate to ask questions.

  • For patients admitted to the hospital, transport to the floor will be provided. There, you will meet with another nurse who will assume the care of your child.

For any questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (919) 858-7020 or email us at info@carolinapediatricsurgery.com

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