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What should I expect if my child has outpatient surgery?

On the day of ambulatory (or outpatient) surgery, your child should not eat solid food. The anesthesiologist may allow liquids to be given. Parents should plan to stay in the facility during their child's procedure and to make every attempt to have siblings stay home. 

Upon arrival at the surgical facility, a nurse will check vital signs and orient you and your child. The anesthesiologist will conduct a preoperative interview, physical exam and discuss the anesthetic plan. For most children, general anesthesia is the preferred form of anesthesia. Anesthesia may begin with intravenous medication, or with breathing anesthetic through a facemask, and then, an intravenous line may be placed after your child is asleep. This may be supplemented by local anesthesia injected by the surgeon or anesthesiologist to control postoperative pain. After surgery, your child will awaken in a recovery area where a nurse will check vital signs, the surgical site and pain control.

Before going home, your child may be offered something to drink. Parents will receive detailed instructions regarding post-anesthetic and post-surgical care. All questions should be answered and you should feel comfortable taking your child home from the facility.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.