• Surgery
  • Day of Surgery

    Before surgery

    Arrival and check-in

    Surgeries are performed in 3 locations:

    On the day of your child's surgery, you should arrive at the scheuduled arrival time given to you by your surgeon's office. You may valet park your vehicle as the Department of Surgery will validate your parking for the first 24 hours. Upon your arrival, proceed to the reception desk at your arrival location.

    In order to protect other patients from highly contagious diseases, we must know if your child has a contagious disease such as chicken pox or measles, or has recently been with someone with a contagious disease, before you arrive at Texas Children's Hospital for surgery. Please call 832-824-5703 or 832-824-5712. For Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, call 832-227-1641.

    Initial exam

    After registration, your child's vital signs will be checked and medical history reviewed by a nurse. You also may meet with a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) who will discuss the plan for your child's anesthesia. A pediatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced educational and clinical training in child health care through successful completion of a masters in nursing PNP program.

    Once the nurse completes this exam, your child will receive an identification bracelet. You will then be asked to wait with your child in the waiting room.

    Holding area

    Close to surgery time, a nurse will show you and your child to the holding area, where your child will receive Texas Children's pajamas to wear and to take home.

    Meet the health care team

    When you get to the holding area, you'll have a chance to meet your child's surgeon, anesthesiologist and operating room nurses. Your surgeon may write his initials on your child's skin.

    When it's time for surgery, your child can choose to ride in a wagon, pint-sized car or stretcher, or he or she may walk. Your child may bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.

    During surgery

    The waiting room receptionist will keep you updated while your child is in surgery and with any other updates you might need.

    Remember, a legal guardian needs to be with the child throughout the day so we ask that you do not leave the hospital during your child's stay or even while surgery is being performed. If you leave the waiting area, please notify the registration desk team.

    After surgery

    The surgeon will talk to you as soon as the surgery is over. The anesthesiologist also will talk with you once your child is resting comfortably in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).

    You will be able to see your child soon after she arrives in the PACU. A Texas Children's team member will escort you to the PACU. Please understand that siblings and other visitors younger than 14 years old are not allowed in the PACU. They also should not be unattended in the waiting room, so please make arrangements to have your other children supervised by an adult. 

    For the comfort and privacy of all patients and families, we limit visitors to 2 at a time in the PACU. Switching out is permitted.

    If your child is going home, we will give you supplies and instructions for your child's care at home.

    If your child is being admitted to the hospital, you will moved to a room when recovery is complete and a room is available.


    • If your child has a contagious disease such as chicken pox or measles, or recently has been with someone with a contagious disease, we must know before you come to Texas Children's for surgery. 
    • Make arrangements for siblings to stay with family or friends.
    • Bring your child's insurance card.
    • Dress your child in comfortable clothes that are easy to remove.
    • Bring a favorite toy or blanket to help your child relax. Put a pillow and blanket in the car for the ride home.
    • If your child uses a special bottle, bring it with you.
    • If your child wears contact lenses, bring the case and the solution to store them. The lenses must be removed before surgery.
    • Leave jewelry and other valuables at home.
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