Q. What is a Pediatric Surgeon?
A. A Pediatric Surgeon is a general surgeon who has been trained specifically to care for infants, children, and adolescents with surgical problems. In addition to four years of medical school, five years of general surgery training and one to two years of research or other additional training, a Pediatric Surgeon receives two additional years of full-time training in the surgical evaluation and management of infants and children. Pediatric Surgeons are experienced in caring for a wide variety of problems children may have, ranging from hernias or appendicitis to cancer or serious congenital anomalies.
Q. My child has an appointment at the surgery office. What can we expect?
A. The office visit is arranged to meet with the surgeon and staff to evaluate your child and discuss what treatment is best. If the best treatment includes surgery, the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the treatment will be discussed with you, and a surgery date will be selected. You generally will know the date of your surgery when you leave the office visit.
Q. How will I find out details about surgery time and date?
A. The parents will receive a phone call from a Nurse to inform you of the surgery date and time as well as the date and time to arrive at USA Children's & Women's Hospital. Feeding instructions also will be reviewed during this phone call.
Q. Can I go with my child into the OR and the Recovery Room?
A. When it is time for surgery, an operating room staff member will come and escort your child to the operating room. The preoperative area is where you will give hugs, kisses, and tell him/her that you will wait close by and will see them soon. You will be directed where to wait while your child is in surgery. After the surgery is over, the surgeon will come and speak with you and let you know how the surgery went. Children requiring anesthesia are sent to the post anesthesia care unit (recovery room). The length and type of recovery depends on the surgery and the anesthetic agents received. Parents will be allowed to visit with their child after the admission process to the recovery room is completed.
Q. Will my child need blood tests before surgery?
A. Most healthy infants and children will not require any major preoperative tests or blood work.
Q. Will my child get an IV before surgery?
A. For most children having outpatient surgery, the IV will be started AFTER the child is asleep by inhaled anesthesia.
Q. When will my child be able to go home?
A. If you child is having minor surgery, s/he may be able to go home a few hours after the procedure. Your child's healthcare team will make sure that s/he is fully awake, that vital signs (i.e. heart and breathing rates, temperature, and blood pressure) are normal, and the s/he can take some liquids by mouth without vomiting.
Q. What should my child eat after surgery?
A. Children sometimes vomit after surgery. Encourage your child to drink liquids, and then offer small amounts of bland food. Your child may then progress to a regular diet.
Q. What can I expect when I take my child home?
A. You may notice that your child is sleeping more than usual for the first day or two. Also, your child may have some nausea and vomiting, or lack of appetite. These problems are usually related to anesthesia and should improve within 24 to 48 hours at home.
Q. After my child is discharged home, when should I be concerned and call the office?
1) A fever greater than 100 F under the arm, 101 F by mouth, 102 F by rectum.
2) Persistent vomiting.
3) Severe pain.
4) An increase in swelling or redness around the incision.
5) Drainage or pus from the incision or fresh bleeding from the incision.
6) Opening of the incision.
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