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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Preparing for Your Child's Surgery

What is Surgery?

The simplest way to explain surgery to your child is to tell him/her that something with their body needs to be fixed or changed.

Who Will You and Your Child Meet on the Day of Surgery?

You will meet many people on the day of surgery. The team is a group of doctors and nurses who will work together to safely monitor and care for your child. They will be available to answer any questions your may have.

A Child Life Specialist is available to provide preparation for your child's surgery or procedure and distraction to minimize anxiety. If you would like to request child life services during your visit, please call (773) 702-1230 in advance with questions or ask our staff to page the specialist when you arrive.

What Will Happen When Your Child Comes for Surgery?

  • Upon arrival, you will check in at the reception desk. You will be directed to a private room, call a pre-op room.
  • When your child is ready to be seen: You and your child are welcome to bring a favorite toy or activity to provide comfort throughout your child's visit.
  • Prior to your child's surgery, the nurses will:
    • Weigh your child on a scale
    • Take your child's temperature
    • Place a special sticker on your child's finger to measure his/her oxygen level
    • Take your child's blood pressure on either arm or leg
    • Ask questions regarding your child's medical history
  • The rest of the medical team will come see you to review aspects of your child's care.
  • You and your family will wait in the pre-op room until it is time for your child's surgery.
  • Toys are available for your child if he/she would like something to play with.
  • When your child goes to surgery, you will return to the waiting room.

What Will Happen After Your Child's Surgery?

  • You will be directed to the recovery area to be with your child as he/she wakes up.
  • Water, juice and popsicles will be offered to help hydrate your child.
  • For same day surgeries, the recovery nurse will provide information regarding at-home care.
  • If being admitted, your child will remain in the recovery area until it is time to be taken to the hospital room.

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