Health Information

The Hospital Setting

Where will my child have surgery?

Your child most likely has been referred by your primary healthcare provider to a pediatric surgeon or other specialist that has special training to care for infants, children, and teens. Surgery may be done at a healthcare provider’s office, a clinic, an outpatient surgery center, or the hospital. Where surgery is done will depend on the following:

  • The reason for surgery

  • Whether the surgery is considered major or minor

  • Whether or not the surgery is an emergency

  • Your child's healthcare provider's preferences

  • Your preferences

Pediatric surgeons often work with a multidisciplinary team. This team may include anesthesiologists, radiologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who are experienced in caring for children.

How long will my child stay in the hospital after minor surgery?

Many surgeries done on children are outpatient. With minor surgeries, your child will return to the outpatient surgery center after spending the required time in the recovery room. When your child is fully awake, able to drink some fluids, and meet all discharge criteria required by your child's surgeon, he or she will be discharged home. Some surgeries require that your child stay overnight so they can be watched by the nursing staff.

How long will my child stay in the hospital after major surgery?

With a major surgical procedure, the time in the hospital is determined by the type of surgery and your child’s health. Some surgeries will require a stay in intensive care for close monitoring before your child is moved to a regular inpatient bed. On the pediatric unit, your child's recovery will continue to be monitored. Immediate medical care will be provided in case of complications. Your surgeon will be able to discuss your child's expected length of stay when you first meet during the preoperative visit. If your child has underlying health conditions, recovery time may be longer.

Print Source: Who Will Hold My Hand? A Guild for Parents Whose Child Needs an Operation. American College of Surgeons.
Online Source: What is a Pediatric Surgeon? American Academy of Pediatricshttps://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/pediatric-specialists/Pages/What-is-a-Pediatric-Surgeon.aspx
Online Editor: Tchang, Kimberly
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.