Getting ready for surgery at Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin (1107)

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Children’s Wisconsin Hospital

Your child will be having surgery at Children’s Wisconsin hospital. Here is some information to help you get ready.

Before surgery

Meeting with your surgeon or doctor

Preparing for surgery

Call before surgery

A nurse will call you 1 to 3 days before your child’s surgery. The nurse will review your child’s health history, final instructions and any possible changes. It is very important to follow these instructions:

If you have not heard from a nurse by the day before surgery, please call the Pre-op Clinic at 414-266-2762. Leave a message with your child’s name, date of surgery, and your phone number. A nurse will return your call as soon as possible.

When to stop eating and drinking before surgery (NPO instructions)

It is very important that you follow these instructions. If your child eats or drinks after the time you are given, the food or drink could get into their lungs when they are given anesthesia. This is called aspiration and could be very dangerous. Your child’s procedure may be cancelled if these instructions are not followed.

Bath before surgery

Hospital stay

The staff that will take care of your child

Many staff members with different roles will care for your child. The Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin staff work together to care for children. There are many specialists from the Medical College who may care for your child. They are specially trained in the care of children needing surgery. These include doctors, called anesthesiologists, who give medicine to make your child sleep during the procedure. You will meet them before the procedure. Staff, students and volunteers will be wearing a hospital ID badge. Feel free to ask people their names and roles if needed.

Visiting the recovery room

After surgery, your child will go to the recovery room. Your child will stay there until the anesthesia starts to wear off and your child is comfortable. Most families will meet their child in the recovery room after surgery. Staff will let you know when you can join your child.

Important things to know:

Your child’s comfort

We will make every effort to keep your child comfortable during their visit to Children’s Hospital. This pledge is called the “Comfort Zone.” We will help your child cope with discomfort by using relaxation techniques, sedatives and/or pain medicine. We will give you information on pain management choices. We encourage you to talk with your doctor or nurse about your child’s comfort.


Our main focus is on your child. Our goal is to give the best and safest care for your child. To do this, we have visiting guidelines. There may be times when we have to limit the number of visitors. To learn more, please talk with staff.

Going home

Before you leave the hospital, you will learn how to care for your child at home. This includes:Going home

You will get copies of all teaching sheets and instructions. There will be phone numbers on your paperwork in case you have questions after you get home.

For more information


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.