How can I explain to my child what happens on the day of surgery?

To explain to your child what happens on the day of surgery, tell your child the following:

On the day of your surgery you will check in at registration. If you are already in the hospital, a transport person (wearing green scrubs) from the surgery department will come to take you on a bed ride to pre-op.

Next, you will go to the pre-op area. This is a large room where you may see other people that are waiting to have surgery. You will have your very own bed in pre-op and your parents can sit right next to you.

In pre-op you will change into your hospital pajamas and meet all of the people who will be taking care of you during your surgery.

The nurses will check your vitals, which means they will check your temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. None of this will hurt. They will also ask your parents questions about your health.

While you are waiting to have surgery you can have fun with whatever toys or electronics you bring.

Some kids get a relaxing medicine called silly medicine, which makes you feel calm before surgery.

You will have to get an IV before you go into surgery. Some younger kids will get their IV once they are already asleep.

When it is time for your surgery you will take a short bed ride form the pre-op to the operating room. This is where you will give hugs and kisses and say goodbye to your parents.

The nurses that take you into the operating room will stay with you the whole time; you are very safe, and your parents will wait in the waiting room.

Once you get to the operating room you will see a lot of equipment. None of the equipment is there to hurt you; it is there to help the surgeon with your surgery. There will be big lights hanging down from the ceiling like the lights at the dentist's office. These will be bright but will not hurt or touch you.

You will meet your anesthesiologist in the operating room. This is the person who will give you the medicine to make you go to sleep during your surgery.

The most important thing to remember about surgery is that you are asleep the whole time and you will not remember or feel anything.

Your sleepy medicine goes into your IV. You will also get sleepy air through a mask. All of this medicine will keep you asleep during your surgery. The sleep during surgery is a special sleep that is different from when you are asleep at home.

After your surgery is all done you will wake up in a room called recovery. Here you will see your parents waiting for you.

This content originally appeared on the Alliance for Kids website.

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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.