Your child most likely has been referred by your pediatrician to a pediatric surgeon, or other specialist that has special training to care for infants, children, and adolescents. Surgery may be performed at a physician's office, a clinic, an outpatient surgery center, or the hospital, depending on the following:
Pediatric surgeons often work with a multidisciplinary team, including anesthesiologists, radiologists, nurses, and other medical professionals who are experienced in caring for children.
Many surgeries performed on children are done as an outpatient. With minor surgeries, your child will return to the outpatient surgery center after spending the required time in the recovery room. When your child is fully awake, able to drink some fluids, and meet all discharge criteria required by your child's surgeon, he/she will be discharged home. Some surgeries require that your child stay overnight to allow observation by the nursing staff.
With a major surgical procedure, the time in the hospital is determined by the nature of the surgery and the health of your child. Some surgeries will require a stay in intensive care for close monitoring before your child is moved to a regular inpatient bed. On the pediatric unit, your child's recovery will continue to be monitored and immediate medical attention will be provided in case of complications. Your surgeon will be able to discuss your child's expected length of stay when you first meet during the preoperative visit. If your child has underlying medical conditions, his/her recovery time may be longer.
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