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What to Expect When You Need Surgery

  • Welcome to the William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite

    Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center

    This is a guide to what happens when kids like you need to have an operation. Feel free to talk with any member of the health care team if there is information you do not understand or if you have questions.

  • If a child needs surgery but is too sick or injured to wait for an appointment, they need to come to the Emergency Department. The doctors and nurses there will help them immediately.

  • Some children know ahead of time that they need an operation and come to the hospital when they have an appointment.

  • When you first arrive at the hospital, you will wait in the waiting room until your name is called. Then you will go into the Pre-Anesthesia area. Your family will stay with you in this room.

  • While in the Pre-Anesthesia area, you will meet a nurse who will take your blood pressure and measure your temperature and oxygen level. You will be given a bracelet that lets people know your name. You will also be given hospital pajamas to wear.

  • You will also meet some other hospital workers. Doctors will come in and talk to you and your family about what will happen during your operation.

  • A Child Life Specialist will help you learn about what happens at the hospital. Once you leave this room, your family will wait for you in the waiting room.

  • While your family is waiting for you in the waiting room, you will ride down the hall in your bed and go into the operating room. When you are in the operating room, you will see a lot of different machines. These machines check your blood pressure, heart beat and breathing while you are sleeping. The room might feel cool to you, but don't worry, the nurse will give you a blanket.

  • The doctors and nurses in the operating room will be wearing masks, hats, and gloves. They wear these things because the operating room has to be sterile, which means SUPER CLEAN!

  • In the operating room there is a doctor that gives you medicine to help your body fall asleep. The doctor gives this medicine either through an IV or through a mask. This medicine makes your body not feel, see, hear, taste or smell anything while you are sleeping. You won't even remember anything that happened!

  • If you are having an endoscopy or colonoscopy you will go to a special procedure room.

  • After surgery, you will wake up in the recovery room. You will feel a little sleepy and groggy at first. You will have blankets on you to keep you warm and a blood pressure cuff on your arm. You might even have a breathing mask on because this helps you wake up.

  • If you need to stay overnight in the hospital, you will be admitted to Golisano Children’s Hospital. These units have babies, toddlers, school-aged children and teenagers.

  • In the hospital there is a play deck and playroom where you can spend time with friends and family when you are feeling better.

  • Once you are feeling better and the doctor says it's OK, you can go home!