Surgery: Getting ready for your child's operation

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Learn how to be well-prepared for your child's surgery so your day goes smoothly, avoid delays or cancellations.

Key points

  • Before the surgery, make sure your child has completed any necessary pre-operative visits.
  • Make sure your child follows the food and drink guidelines before their surgery.
  • Make sure you bring all necessary documents, including health card and international health documents to the hospital.

Your child has been booked for surgery or a procedure. This brochure will help you prepare for the day of your child's surgery. We want your day to go smoothly and avoid delays or cancellations.

Date of surgery:
Arrival time:
Time of surgery:
Register your child at:
Medicines your child may need to take on the morning of surgery:
Medicines your child should stop taking before surgery:

How to prepare

  • Bring all necessary documents, including health card and international health documents.
  • Ask your health care provider if you need to bring any additional forms or documents.
  • Check if your child may require any pre-operative visits before the day of surgery (NOTE: not all children require this). For example:
Your child's specialist (i.e. cardiologist):
Your child's surgeon:
Pre-anaesthesia/Pre-operative clinic visit:

Check if your child needs a pre-operative medical examination by your family doctor or paediatrician.

  • It is important to review and follow the food and drink guidelines before surgery.
  • Plan your transportation route. Find out where to park ahead of time.

What to bring on the day of surgery

  • Your child's health card or international health documents
  • Name and telephone number of your family doctor or paediatrician
  • Name and telephone number of any specialist you may have
  • Prescription medicines, including containers
  • Medical forms (your health care provider will let you know what you need to bring)
  • If applicable, please bring your child's eye glasses, any medical aids or any other devices
  • If your child likes to listen to music, bring in their iPods or other hand-held gaming devices
  • A loose-fitting and comfortable outfit for your child to wear after surgery
  • One or two of your child's favourite items, such as a stuffed animal, blanket or toy
  • If your child favours a particular bottle, pacifier, or sippy-cup, please bring it along
  • A plastic bag or small plastic container, in case your child feels sick on the way home
  • A pen and paper to write down your questions and any of our recommendations for your child's care

After surgery

If your child had a day surgery, they will be able to go home on the same day as their surgery. Other surgeries may require your child to stay overnight at the hospital.

Staying overnight at the hospital

If you are staying overnight at the hospital, the nurse will give your child a pair of pyjamas, slippers, a pillow and bed linens. The hospital will provide your child with clear fluids and meals. Most hospitals will provide diapers.

Please bring the following from home:

  • Toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste and hairbrush for both you and your child
  • An extra pair of pyjamas for your child to wear a day or so after the surgery
  • Items to keep your child busy while recovering in the unit, such as reading material, card games or board games

Going home

We do not recommend taking public transportation after your child's surgery. Bring another adult to travel home with you in a vehicle. We strongly recommend that you do not travel alone.

For more information, please visit the following pages:

Last updated: April 1st 2011