12 Questions to Ask Before a Child’s Surgery

When a child faces surgery, the procedure can be just as scary – or even scarier – for a parent.

Parents with a child facing surgery should ask plenty of questions to learn as much as possible about their child’s surgery and post-operative care.

“You have to do whatever you need to do so you feel like you are being a good parent,” says Dr. David Gibbs, a pediatric surgeon and president of CHOC’s medical staff.

Dr. Gibbs recommends that parents ask the following questions before a child’s surgery:

  1. How will this operation help my child?
  2. Is the surgery an inpatient or outpatient procedure?
  3. How long will my child need to be in the hospital?
  4. What type of incision will be used?
  5. What medications will my child need?
  6. What are the risks of the surgery and the anesthesia?
  7. What type of post-surgery care will my child need afterward?
  8. How will my child’s pain be managed?
  9. When will my child be fully recovered?
  10. What limitations will my child have after surgery, and for how long?
  11. When can my child eat and drink after surgery?
  12. Is there anything else you think we need to know about this surgery?
Surgery Guide

Kids and Surgery: The Complete Guide to Preparing Your Child or Teen for Surgery

Get everything you need to know about kids and surgery–from before birth to the teen years–in our complete guide, which features:

  • What to do if you find out your unborn child will need surgery
  • Tips to prepare your infant for surgery
  • How to alleviate stress in your toddler before surgery
  • How and when to prepare your preschool-aged child for surgery
  • The top ways to prepare your school-aged child for surgery
  • Special tips to prepare your teenager for surgery
  • Learn how to recognize and ease sibling fears before surgery

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