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Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Your child has been scheduled for surgery. You want to be as prepared as possible for this process. Our multi-disciplinary team has put together a guide on what can be helpful for you and your family as you prepare for the experience of surgery.

Dowload the pediatric ambulatory surgical unit "Guide to Perioperative Services" brochure. Descargue el folleto en Español.

Pre-Operative Tour Program

The Pre-Operative Tour program is available for all families that are scheduled for surgery. The tours are individualized and organized at your convenience. These tours allow for children — and you — to see and learn about what the day of surgery will look like age-appropriately. Both you and your child will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the tour.

To schedule a pre-operative tour, please call 212-342-0688. If an in-person tour does not work for you and your family, there are other options available. Please feel free to give us a call and we can come up with a plan that works best for you and your family.

Check out the Pre-operative tour flyer [en Español]!

Videos to Help You Prepare

Please note: Due to recent renovations, some sections of the ambulatory surgical unit at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital may appear different than the video. However, the processes demonstrated are unchanged.

The Afternoon Before Surgery

A perioperative nurse will call you the afternoon before your scheduled surgery. If your child’s surgery is on a Monday, you will receive this phone call Friday.

  • During this phone call, you will receive information about the following:
    • When to be at the hospital.
    • When your child should stop eating and drinking in preparation for surgery.
    • Parking Information: We have a valet service at the front entrance of the hospital. The price is about $40 per day.
    • Visitor Information: To help you best prepare, please be aware that siblings are not allowed in the pre-operative waiting room. It is best to find other child care for the day of surgery.
  • Please be prepared to share the following
    • Medical history
    • Current medications
    • Allergies & dietary needs
    • Developmental delays
    • Recent fevers or cold
    • Preferred Pharmacy Contact Information

The Day of Surgery

The first stop will be Room 100 to register for surgery. This is located on the 1st floor. Here, your child will receive an identification band. Next, you will go to the pre-operative area. For 6:15am/6:30 am arrivals, please take the NORTH elevators to the 4th floor. For all other arrivals, please take the CENTRAL elevators to the 4th floor.

In the preoperative area, you will meet our team.

Unit Assistant
Will check your child’s ID band upon arrival.

Patient Care Assistant
Will help get your child ready for surgery. Changing into pajamas and taking vitals are the first steps.

Pre-Operative Nurse
Will do your child’s admission which includes going over your child’s medical history.

Patient Navigator
Will orient you to the unit and keep you updated throughout the day.

Surgery Team
Will review surgery; Sign consent for surgery.

Anesthesia Team
Will review plan for anesthesia (sleep medicine); Discuss if it is appropriate to walk your child into the operating room.

Child Life Specialist
Available to ease the anxiety of surgery with age-appropriate preparation and distraction.

Operating Room Nurse
Will walk your child to surgery and remains with your child inside the operating room; Works with Patient Navigator to update you on your child’s surgery.

During Your Child's Surgery

  • There is a waiting room for parents located on the same floor as the operating room.
  • There is free wi-fi for you and your family to use.
  • We have a family pantry where we have small snacks, coffee, tea and water for your convenience.
  • There is also a Kosher Suite that our staff can direct you to if you follow a Kosher diet.
  • Your child’s Surgeon will come to the waiting room when the surgery is complete.
  • You will then see your child as soon as you can. If your child is going from surgery to the intensive care unit, our staff will help you navigate the hospital.

In the Recovery Room

  • You will be with your child throughout his/her time in the recovery room.
  • Please allow your child to wake up on his or her own.
  • Your child may wake up alert and feeling well or sleepy, confused, angry. Every child is different. Please feel free to bring in comfort items to ease this experience.
  • Your nurse will tell you when it is okay to hold your child and when your child can eat or drink.
  • If your child is being discharged after surgery, you and your family will receive discharge instructions before going home. Any prescriptions are sent electronically to your preferred pharmacy from your surgery team.
  • If you and your child are staying overnight, you will be moved to an inpatient floor once a room becomes available. There is space for one parent to sleep overnight with your child.