Before Surgery

The Night Before Surgery

Before surgery, the patient must not eat or drink anything. Going for a number of hours without eating or drinking is often difficult, especially for children. Fortunately, some clear fluids can be safely given up to two hours before an operation. You will be given a list of the fluids that are acceptable to provide your child or infant before surgery.

The scheduled time of surgery can change, so please do not give your child anything without contacting one of us or the pre-op nurse.

If your child takes medicine on a regular basis, follow the instructions given to you at the pre-op appointment. A nice shower, bath and shampoo is a good idea the night before surgery.

What should you pack before coming to the hospital? Bring PJs and underpants, slippers, a hair brush, toothbrush and toothpaste. Also, bring a set of clothes or PJs to wear home from the hospital. Make sure to bring a list of all medications, their dosage and frequency.

During your child’s surgery you will be updated on a regular basis by our Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant or the nurse in the room about your child’s progress. Calling your cell phone is the easiest way to do this. Remember to charge your phone fully the night before surgery. If you do not have a cell phone or if you have poor coverage in the hospital, you will also be given a pager or telephone to use during the surgical procedure. We will ask you to call the four digits that appears on the pager from an in-house phone when you are paged.

Finally, remember that good surgery can take time, and long surgery does not mean that anything is wrong.

The Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery you will be asked to arrive at the hospital approximately one  hour before the scheduled time of the operation. Please bring your child to the  3rd floor of the Outpatient Building at 744 52nd Street which is directly across the street from the hospital.  The building is attached to the parking garage. This is the same building where you met with your neurosurgeon in our office before surgery.

Once in the hospital, you will be taken to the pre-op preparation area. Your child will change into a hospital gown. Weight and vital signs will be taken. When it is time for your child’s surgery, you will be taken to the Surgery Department with your child. Keep in mind the time of the surgery is an estimated time.  If your child’s surgery is not the first case of the day, the time of their surgery is an estimated time. The surgery time before you child’s, or for your child, may take considerably longer or shorter. Be mindful that your surgeon devotes as much time as necessary for all children's surgeries.

You will stay with your child until he or she is actually taken into the operating room. During surgery, you may wait anywhere that you like. The best place is the cafeteria. You can be off campus or visit our office. The OR team can give you updates on your cell phone or beeper.

When surgery is nearly completed, someone from the OR will call you. They will tell you to come up to the Surgery Suite, ICU or that the surgeon will come to your location on the hospital's campus.

After leaving the Recovery Room, your child will be usually taken to the ICU or a room on the 5th floor of the hospital. On the 5th floor each room has two beds.  Each child has their own TV next to their bed. One parent may stay overnight with their child at the bedside.

The ICU is a busy, open ward and most patients will not be in a private room, This set up, although a bit noisy, provides the best care since everyone is in sight of the doctors and nurses on duty.