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What Happens After Pediatric Surgery

It’s not unusual for your child to be disoriented and cry when coming out of anesthesia, which can be difficult to experience. Being with your child to help soothe them during this time can help put you both at ease.

If your child needs to stay overnight, you’ll be able to stay with them. When your child is discharged, either that day or after a hospital stay, a nurse will walk you through a detailed discharge plan which may include prescriptions for medications and your pediatric surgeon’s instructions. Make sure you:

  • Have or know what materials or supplies you may need for your child at home
  • Understand when your child can get back to normal activity, including activities such as running, biking and other sports
  • Ask when you should schedule a follow-up appointment with the specialist
  • Ask whom to call if you have questions or concerns

How Can Surgery Affect My Child?

Pain, irritability or discomfort are common after surgery. We encourage you to hold or rock your child to help soothe them. Your pediatric surgeon may also recommend medication to help relieve pain and discomfort.

Your child may develop new fears, experience mood or sleep changes or be clingy. Know that these are temporary changes and may last up to 2 weeks. Talk with them about the experience as you can help your child process and communicate what he or she feels. Our child life specialists can help too. We’ll talk with your child or give you ideas on other ways to bring reassurance.

We’re your partners every step of the way, ready to answer your questions or talk through any concerns you may have. We want to see your child acting their normal, healthy and happy self as much as you do.