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Surgery Planning

Advance Planning

In the Pediatric Surgical Center we work hard to create an environment and atmosphere that will provide comfort for any child who needs surgery. Our waiting room is "child friendly" and is designed to ease anxiety by offering activities to entertain children while they wait before surgery. We recognize that a child’s family is an integral part of his or her recovery. However, so that you may focus on your child, we ask that no siblings accompany you. Unfortunately, due to space limitations in our waiting room, we can only accommodate two adults for each patient.

We look forward to speaking with you on the day before your child’s procedure. Should you have questions before that time, please contact your surgeon’s office.

Day Before Surgery

We Will Call You

  • We will call you with your child's arrival time. You can expect a call from us between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. the day before surgery.
  • If your child's surgery is scheduled for a Monday, we will call between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. the Friday before surgery.

Contact the Hospital

  • If your child is feeling sick the day before surgery, please call us at (585) 276-3110.
  • During the cold and flu season, some visitor restrictions will be in place. Please check with the hospital prior to arrival for more details.

Make Sure Your Child

  • Bathes or showers before going to bed the night before. Use CHG wipes if directed by your surgeon.
  • Has removed all nail polish, jewelry, and make-up. Children who use contact lenses should wear glasses to the hospital.
  • Eating and drinking instructionsFollows the eating and drinking instructions
    • Midnight prior to surgery
      • Food is NOT allowed after midnight
      • Clear liquids, such as apple juice, water, Pedialyte, and Gatorade are still allowed
    • 6 hours before arrival
      • Stop feeding infant formula now
      • Clear liquids are still allowed
    • 4 hours before arrival
      • Stop breastfeeding now
    • 3 hours before arrival
      • NOTHING to eat or drink now, including candy, mints, gum, and cough drops

What to Pack

  • A change of clothes. If your child is staying the night, pack a small overnight bag. You will need to keep your child's belongings with you during the procedure.
  • A comfort item for your child like a stuffed animal, music player, or video game
  • For younger children, bring an empty sippy cup or favorite cup
  • Containers for glasses, contacts, and retainers
  • Activities to do in the waiting room
  • Your child's vaccine record, insurance card, and a list of current medications
  • Court paperwork for guardianship, if applicable.

The Day of Your Child's Surgery

The day of your child's surgery can be stressful. But there are ways to help it run smoothly. Have your child wear comfortable clothing. Do your very best to arrive on time. Check out this quick summary of what to expect:

The Hospital Parking Garage

Park your car and remember where you parked. Leave any heavy belongings or overnight bags locked in your trunk so you have less to carry.

The Hospital Lobby

Once inside, follow the green tags on the ceiling to the green elevators. Take the green elevator to the fourth floor. The Pediatric Surgical Center Waiting Room is just off the elevator. Hint: stay on the wooden floors to find the waiting room!

The Pediatric Surgical Check-in and Family Waiting Room

Check in at the registration desk and receive your child's tracking number. You can use this number to track your child's location, while keeping his or her name private from others.

A nurse will call your child's name and take you to the Pre-Anesthesia Room. They will check your child's vital signs (like temperature) and ask you some general questions.

The Pre-Anesthesia Room

  • Your child and up to two adults will receive matching ID bracelets. For the safety and privacy of our patients, only adults with matching bracelets will be allowed to visit in the recovery room.
  • Your child will change into hospital pajamas and socks. If your surgeon had you use CHG wipes the night before, you will use a second site at the hospital.
  • Girls who have started their period will need to give a urine sample before surgery.
  • Your anesthesia team will come to meet with you, discuss the plan, and answer your questions.
  • If you have not done so already, you will sign a consent form for the procedure.
  • The surgeon will come to see you and mark the procedure site with a special marker.
  • Older children (generally 12 years and older) will have an IV placed before the procedure. Younger children will use a special mask to begin their anesthesia and have an IV placed once asleep. Our Child Life Specialist will help explain this to your child.
  • Once your child goes to the operating room, you are welcome to wait in the Pediatric Family Waiting Room.

Easing Fears/Support

You may find it hard to talk to your child about surgery, but talking it through will go a long way towards easing your child's fears. The more you talk, the more prepared you both will feel, and the better your overall experience will be. For age-related info on preparing your child, check out our "Patient Resources" and view all information related to "Your Hospital Stay."

Whether you are a patient or someone who is supporting a patient during their perioperative journey, consider participating in the Pediatric Perioperative Wellness Program. You will have a chance to learn several mind-body techniques that have been shown to decrease the effects of stress on the body and can potentially make the process of having a procedure or surgery less difficult.

Wegmans Child Life Program

The Child Life Specialists at Golisano Children's Hospital are trained to care for the emotional and developmental needs of children and families. They are available to:

  • Help ease your child's fears
  • Prepare and support you and your child through surgery
  • Provide pre-admission tours
  • Help accommodate any special needs your child may have

To contact a Child Life Specialist or arrange a pre-admission tour, call the Child Life Office at (585) 275-9878.

Ensuring Quality

We stand by our commitment to providing Medicine of the Highest Order. If you have a concern about patient safety or quality of care, any customer of the University of Rochester Medical Center may contact The Joint Commission.

Office of Quality Monitoring
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Toll-free phone: (800) 994-6610
Fax: (630) 792-5636