One week before your child undergoes surgery, you'll be asked to come to Mary Bridge for a three- to four-hour pre-operative visit. This visit is intended for parents and the child who needs surgery. However, if your child has other primary caregivers, it may be a good idea to invite them to join you. If you wish, the child's siblings also may come.
During this visit, several things will happen:
One-on-one education — Your child's surgeon and a registered nurse practitioner will sit down with you to go over surgery specifics. You'll discuss everything from the details of the repair and associated risks, to length of surgery and the expected hospital stay. You'll also have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have.
Medical history — You'll be asked to provide information about your child's medical history, including previous illnesses or injuries, surgeries, allergies and reactions to anesthesia. Bring this information with you, as well as your insurance card and phone numbers and addresses for your child's other health care providers.
Physical exam — Before surgery, it's important to have a current and accurate assessment of your child's health and to note any changes that may have occurred.
Pre-operative tests — Your child's doctor may order a variety of standard pre-surgical tests, including a chest X-ray, urine test and blood work. If your child needs to have blood drawn, a topical cream containing an anesthetic will be applied to minimize discomfort.
Team introductions — During your pre-surgical visit you'll have the opportunity to meet the various members of your child's care team, including the child life specialist, social worker and anesthesiologist.
Tour — Led by child life specialists, pre-surgery tours are designed to introduce the surgery experience to families in a relaxed atmosphere. We work with patients, parents, siblings of patients under two and other family members.
Medical play — A child life specialist can meet with your child to address their questions and help them deal with their fears.