Preparing for an Operation
Find the information and resources you need to help prepare for your child’s operation before, during and after your stay.
Preparing for an operation can be overwhelming, but knowing what to expect before, during and after your stay can help prepare children of all ages. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s pediatric surgery team works alongside specialists throughout our hospital, including anesthesia and pain management, and wants our patients and their families to have the best experience possible. From the pre-operative appointment to caring for your child at home, know what to expect before and after an operation.
The pre-operative visit can help improve surgical results and speed up recovery times. During this visit, our team will discuss the patient’s personalized care plan, conduct a health review, educate patients and their families on the operation and answer any questions.
Who Must Be Present at the Pre-Operative Appointment
A parent or legal guardian needs to be with the child at the pre-operative appointment. Although there is no operation at the consultation visit, the child must physically be present to be evaluated. In the event a legal guardian cannot accompany the child to the appointment, the person with the child at the appointment must bring a legally executed power of attorney form to the appointment (to be legally executed, the form must be signed by a legal guardian and notarized). In some instances, legal paperwork is needed at the appointment:
- If you are a legal guardian, we will need to see the legal papers that indicate your legal guardian status.
- If you are the parent but do not have legal custody, we will need to see the legal papers that allow you to make health care decisions for your child.
What to Bring to the Pre-Operative Appointment
To prepare for the pre-operative visit, parents/guardians should bring the following:
- Patient’s insurance card.
- Parent’s/guardian’s photo identification.
- Insurance authorization, if required (parents/guardians must fax the information to our office at 727-767-4346).
- Patient’s medical records.
- Applicable co-payment (due at time of check-in).
- Patient’s prescription and non-prescription medication and vitamin supplements, including the name, dose and instructions.
- Referring physician's records and applicable tests.
Please note: Failure to have appropriate authorization will result in rescheduling the appointment or billing the patient as self-pay, in which payment would be needed at the time of service. Failure to have relevant medical records and X-rays may also result in rescheduling the appointment.
Day of Operation and Care Afterward
Our team wants to help you prepare for your child’s hospital stay and also give you the information you need to care for your child at home. Please check with your doctor to find out if there are any instructions specific to your child’s operation or condition in addition to the following:
- Confirm the time and location of the operation
- Address all questions and concerns
- Bring a list of the patient’s medications
- Bring parent’s/guardian’s photo identification
- Follow your surgeon’s pre-operative instructions
- Remove all piercings
- Review eating and drinking instructions
- Prepare to care for your child after an operation (soup, popsicles, clear liquids, etc.)
A certified nurse practitioner or physician assistant from our surgery team is on call and in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This professional is available to our surgical inpatients and families at home.