Preparing for Surgery

General Pre-Operation Information

Once your insurance company has been contacted, our surgery scheduler will contact you to set up a date for your surgery. A tentative time will also be given, but this may change; you will be notified of the correct time a few days before your surgery. Surgeries are scheduled in order of patient age; the youngest children are usually scheduled earlier in the morning.

Your doctor typically requests a meeting with you a week prior to your surgery. At this visit, your doctor will make sure that you are healthy, your condition has not changed, all the necessary paperwork is completed and all of your questions have been answered. This is the best time to ask any last minute questions you may have about your surgery.

Most patients will be asked to see their primary care doctor to review their medical history and receive a physical. Some may also need an electrocardiogram (EKG), chest X-ray or blood work. This information will be faxed to your doctor, but it is your responsibility to schedule the appointment before your surgery. We must receive your updated medical history and physical exam within 30 days of your surgery and any supporting information within three months.

Please discuss what medications you should take the morning of your surgery with your primary care doctor. Patients should not take aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin) for seven days prior to their surgery. If you are taking Coumadin (Warfarin), your primary care doctor will talk to you about stopping this before surgery. You may need to take an injectable medication while you are off the Coumadin.

You must arrive for your surgery with an empty stomach. You should plan on not eating or drinking anything for eight hours prior to your surgery. To be safe, we usually recommend nothing after midnight. You may take sips of water with your medications in the morning. Occasionally, exceptions may be made for small children.

If your surgery is outpatient (day surgery), you will need someone to drive you home. You will also need a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours following the surgery. This rule is in place in case you have any unexpected problems when you return home.

Pre-Op Instructions for Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy

Your child’s doctor has recommended that your child have a tonsillectomy and/or an adenoidectomy (T & A).

What is a tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove your child’s tonsils. The tonsils are located far back on either side of the throat. They are removed because of repeated infections (tonsillitis) or sore throats. The tonsils may also be removed because they are so enlarged that your child develops breathing or swallowing problems.

What is an adenoidectomy?
An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove your child’s adenoids. The adenoids are located behind the nose. They are hidden from view by the roof of the mouth (palate). They are removed if they block the tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat or if they are enlarged and block the nasal passage.

What instructions should I follow before my child’s surgery?
Surgery is best done when your child is healthy. If your child develops signs of illness, call your child’s doctor or nurse right away. The surgery may be canceled if your child is ill or has a fever.

Your child should not be given any aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) for two weeks before surgery. These medicines prevent your child’s blood from clotting. This may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. It is okay if your child is given acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever or pain before the surgery. If your child is placed on any medicine other than an antibiotic before surgery, please call our office.

The surgery scheduler will contact you to schedule the surgery. You will be given instructions about when and where to report for surgery. A nurse from the operating room will call you a few days before the surgery to ask you questions and to review instructions. If you are interested, you and your child can take a tour of the surgery department before their operation. To learn more about these tours (“pre-op tours”), ask the surgery scheduler.

Your child should avoid all food and beverages after midnight the day of surgery. Occasionally, there will be exceptions made for small children. It is very important that this order is strictly followed. Your child’s surgery will be canceled if it is not.

On the day of surgery, you will meet the surgery nurses and the anesthesiologist. Feel free to ask them any questions you may have. You will also see your child’s surgeon prior to surgery.

Your child will be taken from the pre-op area to the operating room. You and other family members can wait in the waiting room while your child is in surgery. When the surgery is finished, the doctor will visit with you in the surgical waiting room to let you know how your child is doing.

Your child will go to the recovery room for a short time until they are more awake. You will then be called back to be with them. Depending on their age and situation, your child will either go home or be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. Most patients will be able to go home.