Surgery Day


Before you arrive

  • Even though your child will not be eating or drinking, parents and family should eat before bringing a child for surgery.
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the pre-operative waiting areas.
  • Please keep in mind that the scheduled surgery time is our best estimate. Your child’s surgery could be moved up or down on the schedule for many reasons.
  • If you or a family member is sick, please stay home, rest and concentrate on getting better. We do not want any of our healthy patients exposed to illnesses.


Children's Health providers several options for parking including, valet and self parking.  Click here for more information.

Checking in

When you arrive at Children’s Health, you and your child will check in at Admissions:

  • We ask to have a copy of your photo ID, insurance card(s) and have you sign financial consent forms.
  • Next, you and your child will go to the perioperative waiting area. A nurse will call you to the Pre-Op/Post-Op holding area to check your child’s weight and vital signs.
  • There, your child will put on a surgical gown or pajamas, then play or relax until it is time for surgery.
    • The nurse will explain what will happen to your child.
    • A physician called a pediatric anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss your child’s medical history and to tell you about anesthesia care.

Before surgery

The staff responsible for your child’s care will verify:

  • Your child’s name
  • What kind of surgery he or she is having
  • The body part on which the surgery will be performed

For your child’s safety, the family will be asked these questions many times.

Depending on the type of surgery your child will have, your doctor may mark the location of the surgery on your child’s body with a marker.

Custodial parent or guardian will be asked to sign an informed consent form. This form verifies that the family and doctor have discussed the surgery that will be performed.

During surgery

When your child goes into the operating room, you will go out to a waiting area. We ask that at least one parent remains in the hospital at all times. Your child’s surgeon will meet with you afterward to discuss your child’s progress.

After surgery

Most children go to the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU) after surgery.

  • In the PACU, your child will be watched by nurses who will notify you as soon as you may visit your child.
  • Please remain in the waiting room until you are notified.

Same day surgery

Children scheduled to go home on the same day of surgery will go back to the Pre-Op/Post-Op holding area after the PACU. At this point:

  • Both parents may be with the child.
  • Other family members are encouraged to wait in the waiting room areas.

When your child is ready to go home, the nurse will review with you all instructions for medicines, home care and follow-up appointments.


If your child is scheduled for a hospital admission after surgery, you will be given more instructions related to your stay on the day of surgery. The nurses will tell you the location of your room for the overnight stay once the surgical procedure is completed.