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Preparing for Surgery

Prepare Yourself First

Gather information about surgery before speaking with your child. Get information that is understandable to you.

 Make sure to know basic, logistical information

Make sure to know what to expect after surgery (i.e. if your child will be able to go home after surgery or if they will be admitted to the hospital.) This will allow you to make necessary arrangements.

Become aware of your own feelings and perceptions about your child’s upcoming surgery/hospitalization. Recognize the ways in which these are observed by your child.

Make arrangements for child care for your other children on the day of surgery.

How to Talk to Your Child

You know your child best. Use that knowledge, along with the information you have gathered, to talk openly and honestly with your child. Find what questions she has and what she may be wondering about having surgery. How much and when to tell your child will depend on:

  • Age and developmental stage
  • Personality
  • Past health care experiences   
  • Understanding of the illness

Download the Hopkins Children's Guide to Surgery Coloring Book (.pdf)

Watch this video and listen to Kendal's story about having surgery at Hopkins Children's so you can be better prepared when you come to our hospital.