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Preparing for surgery

Please take time to review the surgery information provided below and if you have any questions, please call us at 972-300-0215, Monday–Friday, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Pre-op assessment

One to three days prior to the procedure our pre-op nurse will call to obtain a patient history.

The information we’ll ask for includes:

Scheduling and things to know

After confirmation of times from your doctor’s offices, our staff will call between 1-4 p.m., the day before surgery to confirm arrival time and eating/drinking instructions.

What to bring with you:

What NOT to bring:
We request that you bring no more than two family members per child.

No food or drinks are allowed in our lobby area. This is for the safety of all children in our care.

You may want to arrange care for siblings so that your attention can be more focused on the child having the surgery.

What to have on hand at home:
Your doctor will give you diet guidelines for your child. If you have questions about these instructions please ask us. We can make suggestions that will comply with the guidelines. To help your child be more comfortable we suggest you have the following at home:

Fasting guidelines

During our scheduling call we will advise you on what your child should eat or drink the night before surgery. The number of fasting hours required will vary according to patient age. Be sure your child has a well balanced meal the night before surgery. Provide plenty to drink.

Some doctors prefer to give you these instructions. We work with the doctors and will advise you to follow their instructions.

After the cut off time for liquids, be sure your child has absolutely nothing to eat or drink. This includes candy, ice and gum. We even recommend that young children do not brush their teeth the day of surgery as some water could accidentally be swallowed.

Many parents ask us why their children cannot eat or drink. For your child's safety, it is important the stomach is completely empty prior to anesthesia. Serious complications such as vomiting, inhaling fluid into the lungs and pneumonia could arise with even small amounts of food or water in the stomach. Since children can forget, they will need to be closely watched.

If your child accidentally eats or drinks anything after the cut off time, you must tell the nursing staff so that proper precautions can be taken.

We know parents are reluctant to eat when their child cannot. We strongly suggest you eat a meal so you have energy to handle the days’ activities.

The day of surgery

What to bring:

The day of your child’s surgery, please try to arrive a few minutes early to check-in and provide us with the following:

If you have guardianship of the child, you must bring the guardianship paperwork with you.

Parking is located on the north side of the building. The surgery center is located on the first floor of the north entrance.

Before and suring surgery

Before surgery
Prior to your child’s surgery you will be asked to confirm and update any medical history information. Your child will be examined with attention to heart, lungs and airway.

We want your child to feel safe at Cook Children’s Pediatric Surgery Center. The nursing staff will explain to you and your child what will happen during your time here.

You’ll be able to speak to the nurse assigned to your child in the operating room (OR), the anesthesiologist and the surgeon. We’re here to answer your questions. Please take this time to ask any questions you may have.

Your child may be given medication before surgery depending on their needs. If they do receive medication we will ask you to hold your child or they must remain on a stretcher with side rails up for safety. The nursing staff assigned to your child in the OR will accompany your child to the OR. Depending on the child's needs they may be carried or ride on a stretcher.

During surgery
One parent or guardian must stay in the center at all times.

You will be escorted to a conference room or the waiting room by a member of our nursing staff. Please take this time to review any instructions from your surgeon.

Please ask our reception staff if you need anything.

Cook Children’s Pediatric Surgery Center is a non smoking facility.

Please remember: one parent or guardian MUST remain in the facility at all times.

After surgery

Seeing your child after surgery:
The doctor will come to see you immediately after surgery. Your child will go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit or Phase 1. The time it takes for each child to recover from anesthesia varies. A nurse will stay with your child at all times.

The nurse will take you to your child as soon as they recover from anesthesia. The nurse will then escort you and your child to the step-down recovery unit or Phase 2 for continued observation. At this time your child will be offered liquids.

What to expect:
After surgery, your child will seem sleepy, restless, irritable or confused. In most cases your child will have an intravenous device (IV) which delivers electrolyte solutions, medicines, and nutrients and must remain in place until discharge. Your child will receive medicine to ease discomfort as directed by your anesthesiologist. You are the best judge of your child's comfort level. Please discuss your child’s care with our nurses - we are here to guide you.

Before your child goes home:
While in Phase 2 we will be asking your child to drink liquids so that we’re sure he/she is willing to drink for you at home.

Your Phase 2 nurse will evaluate your child's recovery based on information from your anesthesiologist. The nurse will review your doctor’s discharge care plan and you’ll receive discharge instructions and any prescriptions your child might need. Please take this time to ask any questions you may have.

Arrangements for a ride home should be made before surgery. Your child will be released only to the parent/guardian who brings the child to the facility. Please call us at 972-300-0215 with any questions.

For your child's comfort on the ride home, please have a blanket, a towel and a car or booster seat (if required).

Back at home

While each child responds differently to anesthesia and surgery, some of the things you may expect after you leave the facility include:

Approximately two to three days after your child's surgery, a nurse will contact you to see how he/she is feeling. Please feel free to ask questions you might have about your child's recovery.

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