After Surgery

Your child will go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). When he/she wakes from anesthesia, you will be brought to the post-operative area.

It is not unusual for children to cry after surgery. Your child may be restless, sleepy, or feel uncomfortable. We will give your child medication, but he/she may be sad and fussy for a while.   

If your child is admitted to the hospital, we will transfer him/her to an appropriate setting as soon as a bed is available. A staff member will advise you when the room has been assigned. 

If your child goes directly home, you will receive a follow-up call from a nurse on the day after surgery. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any related problems. Be sure we have a working number for this call. 

Whether your child is discharged on the day or surgery or later, we will provide discharge instructions to guide you in the care of your child after surgery. 

Here are some additional tips:

  • Speak up if you see hospital staff fail to clean their hands (i.e. use soap and water or an alcohol-based product).It is OK to ask them to clean their hands before performing an exam.
  • Keep your child’s hands (and yours) away from the surgical wound.“Do not touch!”
  • Do not allow family or friends to touch the surgical wound or dressings.
  • Encourage family and friends to clean their hands before and after visiting.If you don’t see them do it, ask them to do so.
  • If your child has any symptoms of an infection, for example a fever or redness and pain at the surgical site, notify the surgeon immediately.

Helping Your Child with Pain

How do I help my child with pain?

Pain medications will be given based on your child’s needs and according to the physician’s orders.  Their pain may be related to the surgical site, but it can also be from muscle soreness, gas and other sources. You can help your child by:

  • Speaking in a soft soothing voice
  • Providing soft comforting touch
  • Listening to and reassuring him/her
  • Distracting him/her by singing, watching TV, listening to music or playing with their comfort toy
  • Helping your child self-soothe through deep breathing & relaxation
  • Helping him/her reposition for comfort
  • Encouraging your child to tell you or the nurse when they are uncomfortable
  • Holding or sitting with your child
  • Allowing the child to make choices when possible
  • Encouraging your child to move and walk as instructed by the nurse