The Surgery Process
Our team provides general anesthesia for all cases in our pediatric operating rooms. We strive to make each child’s experience a safe and comfortable one.
Your surgeon’s office will contact you to tell you when to arrive for surgery at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Our pre-operative nurses will also try to call you as a courtesy to remind you of the surgery time, feeding instructions, and to answer any questions you may have. Generally, we ask most children to stop eating and drinking eight hours before surgery; this often means that most children will stop eating and drinking at midnight to be prepared for early morning surgery. Exceptions are made for very young infants and patients with diabetes.
Day of surgery
We ask that you arrive at the hospital at least two hours before the scheduled surgery time to avoid delays. After completing necessary registration paperwork, you will be directed to the third floor surgical area for preoperative preparation. Here you will meet your child’s pre-operative nurse and anesthesiologist. Your surgeon also will be available to review the plan of care. We will review your child’s medical history, time of last food and drink, and the plan for surgery.
We encourage parental involvement in the preoperative area as your child prepares for surgery. If your child is anxious, he or she may be given a mild sedating medicine before going into the operating room. Parents are not allowed in the operating room because of the need to maintain a sterile operating room environment and to allow us to focus all our attention on your child.
After our surgical staff escorts your child to the operating room, the preoperative nurses will direct you to the surgical waiting room located on the third floor. If you decide to visit our cafeteria, please leave a working cell phone number with our receptionist so that we can contact you if any issues arise. You will be informed in advance if the EASE smart phone app is available for real-time updates depending on your child’s surgery.
After completing your child’s surgery, the surgeon will speak with you in the surgery waiting room. Your child will remain safely with the anesthesia team while transported from the operating room to the post-anesthesia recovery unit (PACU). We will watch your child closely as the anesthesia begins to wear off.
Once your child awakens, you will be reunited with your child. If your child is going home the day of surgery, recovery will continue in our Phase II PACU area, where your child will be offered a drink and/or popsicle, and you will receive discharge instructions. (If your child is being admitted to the hospital overnight, you can join your child as he/she leaves PACU and travels to the hospital room.)
After leaving the hospital, your child may still be sleepy and grumpy for the remainder of the day. Your child should be watched by a responsible adult to be certain that he/she rests, drinks and uses the rest room adequately. If pain medicines are prescribed by your surgeon, please follow instructions carefully. If the prescribed medicine contains acetaminophen (or Tylenol), do not give the child any extra doses.
The anesthetic medicines should be completely metabolized by your child in less than 24 hours. Therefore, it is alright for your child to resume normal activities (such as playing outside, going to school or daycare) on the day after having anesthesia, unless the surgeon tells you to restrict your child’s activities because of the surgery.
We provide general anesthesia for all gastroenterological procedures, the most common being upper and lower endoscopies.
Before the day of the procedure, your physician’s office will contact you with information about when to arrive at Arnold Palmer Hospital, feeding instructions for your child, and to answer any questions you may still have about the procedure.
Day of surgery
Please arrive two hours before the scheduled procedure to avoid delays and complete the registration process and preoperative evaluation. You will be directed to the 8th floor endoscopy suite, where you will meet with your child’s preoperative nurse and anesthesiologist. The gastroenterologist will also be available to review the plan of care.
We will go over your child’s medical history, time of last food and drink, and the planned procedure.
We encourage parental involvement in the perioperative area as your child is getting ready to help alleviate preoperative anxiety.
When it is time for procedure to begin, team members will escort you to the waiting room for the duration of the procedure.
After the procedure
Your child will remain in the post-anesthesia recovery area under the care of a perioperative nurse. You will be reunited with your child as soon as your child awakens and may remain with him/her until ready ready to be discharged. We manage our anesthetic technique to achieve a quick recovery time for outpatients. We encourage some clear liquid intake before discharge but do not delay discharge for that purpose. You will receive appropriate discharge instructions from your nurse before you go home.
After leaving the hospital, your child may still be sleepy until later that day. The anesthetic medicine should be completely metabolized by your child within 24 hours. It is OK for your child to resume normal activity later during the day if desired.
Many children require some sedation or anesthesia for procedures in radiology, such as nuclear medicine studies and MRI scans. Our staff anesthesiologists are available during scheduled appointment times in the radiology department.
Before the procedure
You will receive a letter approximately a week before the procedure is scheduled. This will instruct you to call within 24 hours of the scheduled procedure to confirm your child's appointment. On the phone, a nurse will ask you some brief questions regarding your child's health history and review the pre-procedure guidelines.
During the procedure
Before the start of the radiology study, the anesthesiologist will review your child's health history and discuss the anesthetic plan. A member of the anesthesia team will be with your child at all times to ensure his/her safety.
After the procedure
Immediately following the procedure, your child will recover in our radiology post-anesthesia recovery unit.