Patient Resources

Preparing for Surgery

When your child needs surgery, it can be a stressful and emotional event for not only the patient, but for the whole family. It helps to know what to expect before, during and after surgery so you, your child and your family feel more prepared.

The surgery teams at Texas Children’s work to make your child’s surgery experience safe and as comfortable as possible. Below are videos, guides and a timeline to help you and your family learn what to expect when having surgery at Texas Children’s.

Surgery Guides

Pre-Surgery Instruction Guide

The guides below are given to families in our clinics when a surgery may be planned. Families may also receive guide this by email.

Pre-Surgery Instruction Guide

Instrucciones Antes de la Cirguía

Resources for Kids

Download and print this worksheet to read with your child. It will let them know what to expect on the day of surgery. 

"I'm having surgery today!" English | Spanish


A Timeline to Prepare Your Child for Surgery

Age-specific guidelines to help your child cope with a surgery experience

When preparing your child for surgery, it is important to provide age appropriate information to alleviate misconceptions and minimize fears or possible feelings of guilt. It is also important to help your child understand the reasons for their necessary surgery and familiarize them with the surgery process.

Help your child learn what to expect. 

  • Use simple words to prepare your child for surgery so they may understand the purpose for coming to the hospital.
  • Be honest with your child to encourage a trusting relationship.
  • Ask your child how they feel about their upcoming surgery to foster open communication. This will help address any possible fears or misconceptions regarding their surgery.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions to you or their doctor to give them a sense of empowerment and control.
  • Support your child with your presence, gentle voice, and touch to help reduce anxiety.
  • Allow your child to choose a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, toy or comfort item to bring and keep with them throughout the procedure.