What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

Arrival and check-in

On the day of your child's surgery, you should arrive at the scheduled arrival time and location given to you by your surgeon's office. At the Texas Medical Center, please let valet services park your vehicle as the Department of Surgery will validate your parking for the first 24 hours. At our community hospitals, please use our complimentary parking. Once inside the building, proceed to Surgery Reception and check in at the reception desk.

Initial exam

After registration, you and your child will be taken to the Pre-Op Area. In this part of the operating room suite, many people will ask about the type of surgery your child is having. They will ask questions about when your
child last ate food or drank liquids. They will also ask about any allergies your child may have. More than one person will ask these questions. This is to double- and triple-check facts making sure your child's surgery is as safe as possible. The staff will also confirm that you have signed consent forms for surgery.

Meet the health care team

You will talk to your child's surgeon, anesthesiologist and operating room nurses. Your surgeon may write his initials on your child's skin. Once all of the pre-surgical checks have taken place, your child is ready to go to the operating room. They can choose to ride in a wagon or a pint-sized car, or your child may walk. Your child may also bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Or team will direct families to the waiting area. 

During surgery

The care team will keep you updated while your child is in surgery. Remember, a legal guardian needs to be with the child throughout the day. 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 reception 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 they arrive in the PACU. A Texas Children's team member will escort you to the PACU.

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

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. Please make arrangements to have your other children supervised by an adult.

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.