Effective immediately, Norton Children’s Hospital’s visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. More details

Preparing for Surgery

At Norton Children’s, we know from experience how important it is to prepare for your child’s surgery. Below you will find important information about how to do so and what to bring when you come to the hospital. Please read and follow the instructions carefully in order to avoid your child‘s operation being canceled or delayed.

Pre-admission Testing

Pre-admission testing is designed to reduce the amount of time you must wait before your child’s 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 that everyone will feel comfortable on surgery day.

To schedule a preoperation tour, call the child life 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

Save time by preregistering your child for surgery.

Feeding Instructions

  Newborn to 5 months 6 months to 36 months Over 36 months
Stop feeding your child solid foods and milk 4 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 6 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 8 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital
Stop giving your child formula 4 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 6 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 8 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital
Discontinue breastfeeding 4 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 6 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital  
Stop giving your child clear liquids 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time at the hospital 2 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 below 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.

Please 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.

Diagnostic Tests

Children are not old enough to fully understand what is happening when they take diagnostic imaging tests and other procedures, so they often need a gentle approach. At Norton Children’s, we design our exam rooms to be calming and pleasant spaces where equipment that might be seen as threatening to children appears less visible. In addition, our kid-friendly staff is specially trained to help make the testing process easier for each child.

It is important to understand the testing services your child needs before you arrive for the procedure. The information below will help answer some of your questions.

Testing and imaging procedures:

  • Barium enema colon study
  • Bone scan
  • Computed tomography scan (CT)
  • DMSA renal scan
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Gastric emptying/reflux
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
  • Lasix renal scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Modified barium swallow test
  • Myelogram
  • Nuclear cardiac testing
  • Nuclear testing
  • Pediatric sedation
  • Pulmonary function test (ages 5 and older)
  • Pulmonary function test (Infants)
  • Upper gastrointestinal test (UGI)
  • Ultrasound
  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCU)

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 the child medication for 12 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.

What to Bring

  • Insurance cards, medical cards, photo identification and your child‘s Social Security number
  • A copy of your child‘s immunization record
  • Proof of guardianship (for court-appointed guardians)
  • All of your child‘s medications, including breathing treatments and inhalants
  • Containers for eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and dentures; leave valuables such as jewelry at home
  • Your child‘s favorite toy, music player or portable DVD player, blanket and/or pacifier to help make the surroundings more familiar
  • Dress your child comfortably; clothing should be loose and easily removed; if your child is having a cast applied, bring appropriate clothing for him or her to wear with the cast
  • If you are not the parent of the child, you must bring court-appointed guardianship/custody papers in order to sign consent. In the absence of guardianship/custody papers, the child’s surgery will be canceled.