Patients • If You're Having Surgery
At Northwest Community Hospital, our goal is to make your child's surgical experience as comfortable as possible. Patients usually have a better experience if they are well informed. So, in preparation for your child's surgery, please review this page as well as the FAQs.
What you need to know about your child's surgery
At NCH, we feel the more you and your child know before surgery, the better the experience will be. Prior to surgery, you will be contacted by a surgical nurse to review your child's health history; this information will then be evaluated by the surgical healthcare team. You will receive information on your child's procedure, what to expect and what to do afterward.
Resources to help parents prepare for a child's surgery
- A helpful checklist of things you need to know if your child is having outpatient or day surgery
- An informational presentation on what you need to know if your child is having surgery in the Main Operating Room
- Helpful tips on easing your child's pain after surgery
How to prepare your child
At NCH, we want to make your child's outpatient surgery or inpatient surgery as comfortable and stress-free as possible. The best way to do that is to explain to them ahead of time exactly what will happen. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Talk to your child—Discuss the surgery in a matter-of-fact way. We suggest that you have the discussion two to four days prior to surgery to allow him or her time to ask questions and get comfortable with the idea. Be honest about any discomfort your child may experience, but offer reassurance that things will get better within a short period of time. Providing your child with this information is very important because children who are well-prepared cope better and recover more quickly than those who have not been prepared.
- Schedule a pediatric pre-surgical tour—You and your child can take a tour of the surgical preparation area, operating room and recovery room prior to your surgery date. This tour can help lessen any fears your child may have regarding surgery. Registration is required; call 847.618.4YOU (4968). Download information on NCH pre-surgical tours.
Special considerations for pediatric surgeries
- Children may bring a special toy or blanket with them
- If your infant/toddler uses a pacifier, please make sure to bring one with you
- One parent must remain in the waiting room during surgery
- You will be given a pager and will be paged to join your child soon after he or she wakes up from anesthesia
- One parent is allowed in acute recovery immediately following surgery—the nurses in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) will notify the waiting area reception staff to bring a parent in to the PACU
- We strongly recommend that two adults be available to take your child home; one adult should sit in the back seat with the child while driving home
Where to go?
Your surgeon will tell you whether your child's surgery is scheduled at the Day Surgery Center (Entrance 3) or one of NCH's main operating rooms (Entrance 2). View the campus map for locations and parking.
If your child is staying overnight at the hospital, the Pediatric Inpatient Unit provides a friendly and caring environment for both child and family. Specially trained Lurie Children's hospitalists care for your child, in conjunction with your pediatrician. These board-certified physicians also work with NCH pediatric nurses to provide a full range of advanced medical services.
- One parent may stay overnight in the room; a limited number of chair beds are available. Siblings are not permitted to stay overnight with the patient or parent. See Pediatrics Visitor Information for more information.
- There is a playroom for younger patients, stocked with toys, games and movies. Older patients have access to DVD players, VCRs and gaming systems that they can use in their rooms. To ensure health and safety, the playroom is for patients only.
- Parents can take a break in the parent resource room, where a variety of educational resources, along with snacks and coffee, are available 24 hours.
For a physician referral, please call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968), or view our list of Northwest Community Hospital surgeons.