Surgery and anesthesia: A guide for families

After Surgery is Scheduled

After your child or teen's surgery has been scheduled at Akron Children's Hospital, someone from the admitting department will call you 10 to 14 days before your child’s surgery to verify patient and insurance information and to answer questions.

Please have your insurance card available. This information is needed to pre-certify the procedure with your insurance company. Admitting staff will also confirm your child’s surgery date and schedule you and your child for a pre-surgery tour if you are interested.

Before Surgery

A staff member from Akron Children’s outpatient surgery department will call you on the business day before surgery to confirm your arrival time and give you final instructions. If you do not receive a call by 2 p.m., call 330-543-8529.

The nurse who calls you before your child's surgery will also answer questions, such as:

Child's age Water or clear liquids only No milk or solids Breastmilk
Newborn-24 months 3 hours 6 hours 4 hours
2 years and older 3 hours 6 hours 4 hours


Surgery and anesthesia: A guide for families

Day of Surgery

If your child is ill (rash, fever, vomiting, diarrhea) on the morning of the scheduled surgery, call Akron Children’s outpatient surgery department at 330-543-8529.

Patients should not wear jewelry, makeup, contact lenses, nail polish, hair beads or metal clips, or piercings.

Upon arrival, a urine specimen will be obtained on all females who have begun menstruation. Also, patients are encouraged to wear loose-fitting clothes to ensure they are comfortable for the ride home.

In the OR

From the start of your child’s surgery until it is completed, a member of Akron Children's anesthesia team will monitor your child’s heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, oxygen and anesthesia levels. These readings indicate to the anesthesiologist and the surgeon how your child is tolerating the procedure.

During surgery, your child will receive anesthesia. Anesthesia literally means “without pain,” so while under anesthesia, the body temporarily loses sensation.

General anesthesia can be given as a gas that is inhaled through a mask or a breathing tube. Anesthesia can also be injected directly into a vein. Sometimes both methods are used.

The anesthesiologist will evaluate your child before the operation to ensure a safe anesthetic during surgery. The type of anesthesia and method of delivery will be based on your child’s age, type and length of surgery, general health and other factors.

Pediatric Anesthesia

Just as children are different from adults, pediatric anesthesia differs significantly from adult anesthesia. There are major differences in children’s body structure and functions, particularly in infants.

Akron Children's anesthesiologists have had special training in pediatric anesthesia. They have worked with young patients ranging from premature infants to teenage football players. Special equipment and techniques are used that are suited to the size of the patient.

Akron Children's pediatric anesthesiologists lead the anesthesia team. Other team members include certified registered nurse anesthetists. Resident physicians training in anesthesia and student nurse anesthetists also work in the OR.

All anesthesia is administered by the anesthesiologist or under his direct supervision.

After Surgery

After surgery, your child or teen will be taken to Akron Children's post anesthesia care unit (PACU), where nursing staff will closely monitor his heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature. Pain medicine will be administered, if needed.

At this time, your child’s surgeon will talk with you in the surgery/family waiting area. The PACU staff will initially call for 2 caregivers (age 18 and older) who may go in to see the patient.

Following a brief period in the recovery room, your child will be taken to a second recovery area, or to a nursing unit if she will be spending the night. The rest of the family may join the child or teen at this time.

Space is limited in the post-recovery area. We may ask for 2 visitors at a time.

Akron Children's nursing staff observes each patient closely during this immediate post-surgical period. Some children may be very drowsy; others will be wide awake.

Special Considerations for Adults and Teens

Patients will not be able to drive themselves home following surgery. A parent, guardian or other adult must be available to take a patient home after surgery.

At Akron Children’s, we have had a number of teens and preteens come in for surgery having told no one they were pregnant. This is an important consideration for our surgical services and anesthesiology staffs because anesthesia may be harmful to a developing fetus.

For this reason, all females who have begun menstruation are given a urine pregnancy test before surgery.

Additional Information

We welcome your questions about your child’s surgery. If you have questions, contact the outpatient surgery department at 330-543-8529.

You may also find it helpful to write down your questions so you don’t forget to ask them.

Watch & Listen:

Video: Pre-Surgery Tour: A Guide for Families
Video: Pre-Surgery Tour - Beeghly Campus
Video: Your Child and Anesthesia

View our full library of video and audio >>

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330-543-1000 (operator)

(8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)


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