Children and surgery is no small task. Preparing is the key to a successful procedure and recovery.
WEEKS BEFORE SURGERY
YOUR INSURANCE: Call your insurance and get the details. Many insurance companies require referrals and/or pre-authorization and even second opinions. Learn beforehand what documentation is needed and that it is in place before surgery. The obligation in the end will end up with you and you want to do all you can to get your maximum coverage. Here are some additional questions to ask:
- Is the doctor and surgical facility in network with your insurance?
- Are there non-covered services?
- What will be your out of pocket costs?
SURGICIAL INSTRUCTIONS: A successful surgery requires a partnership between you, and Dr. Affleck. The surgical instructions are essential for a safe experience and good outcome. If you or the child is unable to comply with any instructions, notify our office as soon as possible. As a result, the surgery may have to be postponed or delayed, at the judgment of Dr. Affleck. This is essential to your safety.
PEACE OF MIND: Surgery should not be taken lightly. Children will need time to rest and recover. They also need to be around their loved ones, who can given them the attention they need. The primary caregiver should take off work for the day and possibly the day after the surgery. Consult Dr. Affleck for the recovery time for the child. If applicable, tell your child’s teacher(s) about any activities that your child cannot do, such as rough play or sports. Other items that will help with the healing.
- Buy all medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) before the day of surgery.
- Have healthy drinks available.
- Prepare meals ahead of time
- Have clean clothing, bedding and room for the child for after the surgery.
- Plan and prepare approved activities for the child to do during recovery.
- Avoid aspirin, or any products containing aspirin, in all children.
- Re-read all instructions given by Dr. Affleck
DAY OF SURGERY
The child may have nothing to eat or drink after midnight (the night before surgery).
You might want to bring some of your child’s toys and/or books to help entertain them, during the waiting time.
You won’t be allowed in the operating room during the surgery, but afterward, you’ll be escorted to the recovery room to be with your child, as he or she awakens. Upon discharge, you’ll receive instructions for further recuperation at home, and a reminder of your follow-up visit, with Dr. Affleck.
- Your child should wear loose comfortable clothing.
- Please bring photo identification and your insurance card(s).
If your child will be under general anesthesia, don’t expect him or her to be fully awake right away — it may take a while and she or he may doze off for a bit. It usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour for kids to recover completely from general anesthesia. In some cases, this period may be a bit longer, depending on medications given during or after surgery.
Although every person has a different experience, your child may feel groggy, confused, chilly, nauseated, scared, alarmed, or even sad as he or she wakes up. Your child may also have some pain and discomfort afterward, which the anesthesiologist can relieve with medications. After recovering from the anesthetic, your child will be evaluated to make sure she or he is ready for discharge from the recovery room.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY
During recovery, there may be times of discomfort or soreness for your child. It might be helpful to explain this to your child, but assure him or her, that this is normal, and it will get better. Distracting your child, whether it is with a new book or a visit from a relative or friend, also can make recovery more pleasant. Just make sure your child gets plenty of time to rest and recuperate.
CAREFULLY READ YOUR POST SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS: Take special note of warning signs and the emergency phone number to call. Follow the directions and stay on top of your child’s pain relief and other cleaning or comfort protocol.
ALWAYS CALL THE OFFICE IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS!
American Society of Anesthesiologists and Preparing for Surgery Check-list Click here to read more