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Outpatient Surgery

Outpatient Surgery

At Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, we know all about helping children and their families through stressful times, including surgeries. When surgery or a procedure requiring anesthesia is needed, not only do we offer excellent medical and surgical care, we also take pride in helping you take care of the emotional needs of your child.

View the pediatric outpatient handbook»

In the Weeks before Surgery

Support for Patients and Families
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital's Child Life Specialists are trained to assist each child with the hospital experience as it relates to the child's emotional and developmental needs. They are available to help you talk with your child about what to expect during surgery. They also provide tours of the surgery area for children and parents. If you would like to talk with a Child Life Specialist about any of these offerings, please call our pediatric surgery Child Life Specialist at (713) 704-2066.
Prior to the day of your child's surgery, you may need to complete the following steps:

Pre-registration: We will check insurance or Medicaid information and let you know what costs your insurance will cover. If no one has contacted you by the day before surgery, call (713) 704-6919 or (713) 704-6209 between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Pre-admission: Some doctors ask that you come to our Anesthesia Clinic prior to the date of your surgery. In the clinic, you will be seen by a nurse and an anesthesiologist, who will gather information about your child's medical history. Any tests the physician may order can be done that day.

The Day before Surgery

There are two things you should do the day before your child is scheduled for surgery. First, find out what time your child's surgery will begin and what time you need to arrive. A nurse from Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital will call you the afternoon prior to surgery to give you instructions and the most up-to-date information regarding surgery and arrival times. Second, it is very important for your child to follow the food and drink restrictions outlined below.

Surgery Times May Change
Please keep in mind that the scheduled surgery time is our best estimate. Your child's surgery could be moved earlier or later on the schedule for many reasons. Thank you for being flexible and patient.

Food and Drink Restrictions
Your child may have a full meal up to eight hours before surgery, a light snack (see chart below for suggested items) up to six hours before surgery, breast milk up to four hours before surgery and clear liquids up to two hours before surgery. Clear liquids are those you can see through, such as apple juice, water and Pedialyte.

The table below summarizes these minimum requirements. Because your child's surgery may be delayed, it is important to encourage your child to continue to take clear liquids up to two hours prior to the estimated start time.

Food or drinkMinimum requirements
Full meal8 hours before surgery

Milk, yogurt, cereal, juices,

pediatric or infant formula

6 hours before surgery

Breast milk4 hours before surgery

Clear liquids like water, Gatorade,

clear soda, apple juice; hard candy, gum

2 hours before surgery

The Day of Surgery

Check-in
On the day of surgery, be sure to arrive at the Pediatric Day Surgery waiting room on the 2nd floor of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital at your assigned time. Admissions/financial personnel will complete your registration and your child will receive an I.D. bracelet.

Initial Exam
After completing registration, your child will be seen by a nurse who will check his or her vital signs and review his or her medical history. You will also meet with an anesthesiologist who will discuss the plan for your child's anesthesia. Your child will then be given privacy to change into a gown. Prior to leaving for the surgery you will meet the operating room nurses. Your child may take along a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.

After Surgery
Parents will be able to see their child about 15 to 30 minutes after their child has arrived in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). Please understand that siblings and other visitors younger than 13 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 if you bring them with you.

Going Home
When your child is ready to go home, we will give you supplies and instructions for your child's care at home.