Preparing for Surgery

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Here is important information about preparing for your child’s surgery and what to bring when you come to the hospital.

Day of Surgery

  • All medications should be taken with a sip of water only. Be sure to ask for instructions if your child requires anything other than clear liquids to take medication.
  • If your child is taking an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor antagonist (ARA), do not give your child medication for 24 hours before surgery.
  • If your child is on a breathing treatment, give your child a breathing treatment prior to arriving at the hospital.
  • For an outpatient procedure, be prepared to spend all day at the hospital, although most patients go home before the end of the day.
  • It is not safe to try to drive and care for a child who has just had surgery. Please invite another adult to drive you home or ride with you.

Pre-Admission Testing

Some patients may require pre-admission testing. This testing reduces your waiting time before your surgery and provides your physician with important medical information. Please schedule your day to allow enough time for you to stay and receive your child’s test results. Pre-admission testing is offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (502) 629-4860 if you are unable to make a pre-admission appointment.

Preoperation Tours

It is normal for children and their families to be nervous about surgery. That is why we offer preoperation tours given by our child life specialists trained to help children and families prepare for hospitalization. The child-friendly tour includes seeing the surgical services area, so everyone will feel comfortable on surgery day.

To schedule a preoperation tour, call the Child Life and Expressive Therapies Department:

Norton Children’s Hospital(502) 629-7542
Norton Children’s Medical Center(502) 446-5370
Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital(502) 899-6933

Feeding Instructions­

 Newborn to 5 months6 months to 36 monthsOver 36 months
Stop feeding your child solid foods and milkFour hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalSix hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalEight hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital
Stop giving your child formulaFour hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalSix hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalEight hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital
Discontinue breastfeedingFour hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalSix hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 
Stop giving your child clear liquidsTwo hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalTwo hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospitalTwo hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital

No eating!
No drinking!
No kidding!

For your child’s safety, you must follow those instructions exactly. If they are not followed, your child’s operation may be canceled or delayed for many hours.

  • Your child should not eat anything after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Your child may have clear liquids and/or be breastfed the day of surgery, but only for a limited time. The chart will help you determine when you should stop clear liquids and breastfeeding on surgery day.
  • Clear liquids include water, sugar water, liquid electrolyte supplements and apple juice only.

Call your physician if your child:

  • Develops a chest cold
  • Is running a fever
  • Has been treated for asthma, bronchitis, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu or pneumonia in the six weeks before the surgery date
  • Has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, and has been exposed to chickenpox in the seven to 21 days before the surgery date (surgery will be canceled)
  • Has been exposed to a contagious disease such as measles or mumps in the three weeks before the surgery date
  • Develops vomiting, diarrhea and/or nausea

Based on the information you provide, you will be told whether to bring your child in for surgery.

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