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What to Expect

Once you and your child have been referred to Pediatric Surgical Associates by your pediatrician, you will schedule and initial appointment at our offices for an evaluation by one of our surgeons. Based upon our conversations in that appointment, a surgical procedure may be recommended and scheduled. You will receive more detailed information on your procedure and hospital protocol prior to your surgical appointment.

Watching the video below with your child prior to your visit can help prepare you and your child for the experience and clear up many of the questions you may have.



Still have questions? We have tried to answer the most popular questions below, but please do not hesitate to contact us if your question is not answered.

  • What will happen before I arrive at the hospital?

    Before you arrive for surgery, the nurse calls your parents to remind them of the date of the surgery and to ask some questions about you and your health. The night before the surgery, remember to take a bath or shower and get a good night's rest.

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  • Can I eat or drink before the surgery?

    The medicines we use require an empty stomach, so no eating or drinking for several hours before the surgery, including cereal, candy, milk or fruit juice.

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  • Can I bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal with me?

    Yes, you can bring your favorite toy or stuffed animal with you to the hospital.

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  • Where do I check in when I arrive for surgery?

    When you come to Riley, your mom or dad will let our doctors know you're here by checking in to the front desk. Soon after that, the nurse will come and take you back to get you ready for surgery.

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  • What happens right before the surgery?

    The nurse will take you to a room and measure your height and weight, take your temperature and blood pressure, and ask you some questions. Then, you'll change into special surgery clothes. After you're dressed you can play or read for a little while, or interact with one of Riley's child life specialists who have lots of fun toys and games. You and your parents will meet the doctors who will be in the surgery room with you.

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  • What doctors will I meet before the surgery?

    You will meet the anesthesiologist. He is the doctor who helps you go to sleep before surgery. You'll also meet the surgeon. He is the doctor who performs the surgery.

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  • Can my parents come with me into the surgery room?

    You parents will not be able to go with you into the surgery room, but they will be close by waiting for you when you're done.

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  • What will the doctors use to help me go to sleep during surgery?

    Unlike when you're at home, you won't have to try to go to sleep. The doctors will give you special medicines to help you sleep during the surgery. You might wear a mask that goes over your mouth and nose. You can talk and breathe with the mask on, and you can flavor your mask with special chapstick. The medicine will come out of the mask and you'll breathe it in, and then fall asleep. Depending on what kind of surgery you are having, you may have an IV tube that goes in your hand. The doctors will put the medicine in the tube that will go into your body and help you fall asleep.

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  • Where will my parents be while I'm in surgery?

    You parents will be in a waiting room nearby while you are in surgery. The nurse will visit your parents to tell them how you are doing. Once the surgery is over, the surgeon will give your parents an update on the surgery and what needs to happen next.

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  • What happens after surgery?

    After surgery, you'll still be asleep. The doctor will move you into the recovery room. Once you wake up you'll probably feel a little groggy and sleepy. Your mouth may feel dry and you might feel thirsty.

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  • Will I get to eat or drink after surgery?

    Yes, the nurse can bring you water if you are thirsty.  Later if you're feeling better, the nurse may bring you jello or a popsicle.

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  • Will I get to see my parents after surgery?

    Soon after you wake up you'll be able to see your parents. They will be able to visit you while you're in the recovery room.

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  • When will I get to go home?

    Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may get to leave the hospital the same day or you may need to spend the night at the hospital until you're feel well enough to go home.

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  • Can my parents stay in my room with me overnight?

    If you get to spend the night, you'll be taken to a special room in another part of the hospital. This room has games and toys and a place for your parents to sleep so they can spend the night with you.

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  • After I get home, who can my parents call if they have questions?

    If you have any questions before or after your surgery, you can ask any of our nurses or your doctor. You can also check the Riley Surgery Guide. [link: iuhealth.org/riley/surgery] or call 317.944.2060.

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  • Will I have an appointment with the doctor before surgery is scheduled?

    Yes, you will have an opportunity to have an appointment with your surgeon.  The doctor will perform a physical examination and provide information about surgery.

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  • Will I need to come back to see the doctor after surgery?

    The doctor will let you know if you need to have a return appointment after surgery.  For some surgeries a follow-up visit with your pediatrician is sufficient.

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