Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Trust the compassionate team at Adventist HealthCare to help you and your child prepare for a successful surgery.

Talking to Your Child About Surgery

Knowing what to expect can help your child avoid anxiety. Ask your child’s care team for help, and count on us to listen and answer your questions. When you talk to your child or their siblings:

  • Explain why your child needs surgery and what will happen before, during and after the procedure.
  • Use words your child understands and avoid scary words like “cut” or “sew.”
  • Correct any misunderstandings.
  • Say surgery isn’t punishment and your child shouldn’t feel guilty.

Whenever possible, you’ll be able to stay with your child while they get care. Knowing you’ll be there can help your child feel safe.

Books About Specific Surgeries

Get help talking to your child about their surgery. Find hardcover and paperback options on Amazon for:

History & Physical (H&P)

Your child will need an H&P within 30 days before their surgery. During an H&P, your child will have a physical exam to check their health, and you’ll answer questions about their medical history. Your child may also have certain screening tests.

Your child’s H&P can be done by:

  • Your child’s primary care provider
  • A healthcare provider at the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center Patient Admission Testing (PAT) Center. The PAT center is open weekdays from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 240-826-7016 to schedule an appointment.

Bring your child’s H&P form to the healthcare facility on the day of your child’s surgery.

Once Surgery is Scheduled

Expect an Adventist HealthCare nurse to contact you within three days of your child’s surgery. If they don’t, call our office at 240-826-6572 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Your nurse will:

  • Make sure your child had any necessary preoperative tests
  • Give instructions
  • Answer questions

Days & Hours Before Surgery

The way your child gets ready for surgery depends on their age, health and the type of procedure. Your child’s care team will have specific instructions about:

  • What your child can eat or drink in the days and hours before surgery
  • What medications your child should or should not take
  • If your child should take a shower or bath the night before or morning of surgery

On the day of the surgery and after the procedure, count on our team for support and guidance.

Make an Appointment

Call 800-642-0101 or search online to find a pediatrician near you.

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