Preparing for Surgery & Procedures
We understand your child’s surgery or procedure is a stressful event and can be overwhelming. Our experienced surgeons, nurses and staff will support you and your child through every step.
As a parent, you play a very important role in preparing your child for what to expect. If your child is well prepared, your entire experience will be better.
- General information
- Tips to help prepare your child for surgery, tests and procedures
- Questions children ask about their hospitalization
- Additional resources
Your child may bring a few favorite items to the hospital to help him or her feel more comfortable - a toy, stuffed animal or blanket, for example. Your child can take one item into the operating room.
One parent can spend the night at the bedside.
The Emily Center is a family resource library that has additional information about your child's surgery.
- If your child becomes sick or develops a cough, runny nose or fever
- If your child takes medication daily
- To know what time your child will need to stop eating and drinking before the surgery/procedure.
Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for Surgery, Tests and Procedures
- Talk honestly with your child about the surgery, using simple words that can be easily understood. For suggestions and ideas on how to explain surgery to your child please download the free app created by PCH called, Simply Sayin’.
- Read a book with your child about going to the hospital.
- Ask your doctor questions about what your child will see, hear, feel and experience both before surgery and after surgery. This will help you to prepare them for what to expect during their surgery experience as well as for their recovery process.
- Attend a Pre-Operative Presentation (POP) Tour.
- Watch the General Surgery Video Tour.
Questions Children Ask About Their Hospitalization
Can my mom or dad stay with me?
Yes! One parent can spend the night in the hospital room. There is a shower and laundry facility for them to use while they are here.
How long will I be in the hospital?
This depends on what kind of operation you are having, but you will go home as soon as you are well. The doctors and nurses will do everything they can to help you get home as soon as possible.
What will happen while I am in the hospital?
The doctors and nurses will help you. You may get medicine, have tests, or take special pictures of your body. You can always ask for someone to explain what will happen during any tests or pictures.
What will I do when I am there?
Phoenix Children's has lots of choices for when you’re feeling well enough to play. There are toys, movies, video games, TVs, playrooms, the Child Life Zone and school.
What if something hurts?
It is very important to tell your parents or your nurse if you hurt so that they can help you. It is okay to cry if something hurts. Some kids say it helps to bring something to squeeze like a stress ball or your favorite stuffed animal. Taking big slow breaths can also help your body to relax so that you to feel more comfortable.
No, before the surgery starts the doctor will give you a sleepy medicine called Anesthesia. It will help you to take a special kind of sleep so that you won't feel anything that hurts. When the surgery is all done, the doctor will stop giving you the sleepy medicine and wake you up.
The following is a list of important numbers to call for more information about Phoenix Children's Hospital and how we can help:
Questions About Surgery
Schedule a Pre-Operative Presentation (POP) Tour with Child Life
- Pre-Operative Presentation (POP) Tours
- Preparing Your Child for Tests & Procedures
- Anesthesia Department
- Pain Management Department