Preparing for Surgery
The word surgery and the word operation mean the same thing. The definition of these words in the dictionary or on the internet can be scary and confusing. These words mean that the doctor needs to look more closely at something that is happening in your child's body. Ask your doctor which part of your child's body needs to be treated and why.
Your child's surgery may be done as an inpatient or outpatient surgery (also called ambulatory surgery). Inpatient surgery means that your child will stay in the hospital for one night or more so the doctors and nurses can monitor your child's recovery more closely. Outpatient surgery means taht you can take your child home on the same day as the surgery.
Your doctor will decide if you child neesd inpatient or outpatient surgery based on the reason for surgery and the type of surgery. It is possible that your doctor may plan for outpatient surgery but then decide that it would be better for your child to stay in the hospital. This decision may be made for the safety of your child, or for the child's pain management, so that the doctors and nurses can monitor the recovery more closely.
Be honest and remember that information is power. In order to be ready for surgery, it is important that your child know what is going to happen. If you child asks a question that you cannot answer, tell him or her that you will talk to the doctor and get the answer. Call your surgeon's office or the Center for Children at 212.598.6205.