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Getting Ready for Surgery

We've put together some helpful tips to help you prepare for your visit. If you have any questions, please contact Pediatric Pre-Admissions at 503-413-2244.

The night before surgery


  • Please do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Bathe your child, and dress in clean pajamas. Bed sheets should also be clean. This will help decrease the chance of infection after surgery.

The day of surgery -- checking in


  • Park in the orange parking structure.
  • Please check in at Main Admitting in the lobby of Randall Children's Hospital. You will then be directed to the lower level, where Children's Day Surgery is located.
  • Important items to bring with you are a current list of medications and your insurance card. You should also be prepared to make your co-pay, deposit or deductible.
  • You may bring a favorite toy, blanket, robe and slippers if you like for your child. Please make sure these are clean or freshly laundered. We will provide pajamas for their stay.

Before surgery


  • A nurse will greet you and get your child ready for their surgery or procedure. The nurse will do a quick exam of your child and ask you about their health history and medications.
  • One of our staff will give your child a hospital ID bracelet. The parent(s) or guardian will receive a matching band.
  • Your child will change into hospital pajamas.
  • There may be time before surgery for your child to play in our playroom, play video games, or watch TV in your child's room.
  • Just before surgery, your child may receive medicine by mouth to help him/her relax.

Surgery and recovery


  • You and your child will be taken to the pre-surgery waiting area just before your child goes into the operating room. You will have time to talk with your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the Operating Room nurse about the surgery plan while you are there.
  • During surgery, you should wait in the family waiting lounge on the surgery level. Your surgeon will talk with you here after surgery is completed.
  • After surgery, your child will go to the recovery room or Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) to wake up. This may take a few minutes, but sometimes can take more than an hour.
  • Once your child starts to wake up, you will return to Children's Day Surgery to recover.
  • Your child may be sleepy for a while after surgery and may have an I.V. (a small tube put in a vein to deliver fluids and medicine). We encourage you to stay with your child during their recovery to help comfort and care for them.
  • A nurse will check your child's heart rate, temperature, breathing, and blood pressure. The nurse will also make sure your child is comfortable and will give pain medicine as needed.
  • Once awake, your child may start drinking and eating with some popsicles, apple juice, or jello.

Going home


  • When your child is ready to go home, your nurse will give you instructions about home care, activity, diet and any medicines the doctor has prescribed.
  • You may have prescriptions filled in the Emanuel Apothecary located on the first floor in the Atrium, or at your local pharmacy.
  • Your child will ride out to the hospital entrance in a wheelchair or wagon, or may be carried by an adult.

Thank you for choosing Randall Children's Hospital for your child's surgery or procedure. Please let us know if there is anything our staff can do to improve your experience while you are our visitor.