Before Surgery

Preparing for Your Child's Surgery

Any surgery or medical procedure is a big event in a child's life. Studies show that children cope better with medical procedures when they are well prepared ahead of time. Parents are better able to help their children when they are better prepared as well.

Helpful Hints at Home

There are many ways parents can help make an upcoming procedure easier for their child.

  • Answer your child's questions honestly.
  • Help your child feel more in control of the situation by offering choices before you leave home, such as what to wear or what to bring.
  • Put your child at ease by showing your confidence, not your concerns. 
  • Listen to your child's comments and be sensitive to hidden fears.
  • Assure your child that illness and medical treatment are not punishments.
  • If you have any fears or anxieties about the procedure, discuss them with your child's doctor away from your child and before the day of the procedure.
  • At our hospital locations, a child life specialist is available to help you prepare your child for the procedure.
  • If possible, make arrangements in advance for the care of any brothers or sisters on the day of the procedure. You will want to focus on caring for the child who is having the procedure.

Preparation Timeline

One to six days before your child's procedure, you and your child may come for a pre-admission visit. During this visit, we will register your child in Day Surgery admissions. You will meet a Children's nurse and a representative from Anesthesiology. Patients are not routinely scheduled for visits before surgery.  If your child's condition requires a visit we will work with you to make an appointment. 

Call Ahead

  • Children's at Egleston
    Call 404-785-6725 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. for your arrival time, procedure time, and eating and drinking instructions.
  • Children's at Scottish Rite
    Call 404-785-2380 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. for your arrival time, procedure time, and eating and drinking instructions.
  • Children's at Satellite Boulevard
    A nurse will call you one day before your child's procedure with information about arrival time, procedure time, and eating and drinking instructions.
  • Children's Surgery Center at Meridian Mark Plaza
    A staff member at the surgery center or your doctor's office will call you one to two days before your child's procedure with information about arrival time, procedure time, and eating and drinking instructions.

This call is very important. Because of emergencies and cancelations, procedure times change frequently.

Pre-Anesthesia History Forms

Your Pre-admission Visit

  • Children's at Egleston
    Pre-admission visits are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.choa.org/eglsurgery
  • Children's at Scottish Rite
    You may be asked to bring your child into our Pre-Anesthesia Department 3-14 days before your procedure. This visit usually takes about one hour to complete and will give you a chance to ask questions, decrease your child’s anxiety and perform any tests your child may need. To schedule an appointment with the Anesthesia department, please call 404-785-4664.  For more information, visit www.choa.org/srsurgery.  
  • Children's Surgery Center at Meridian Mark Plaza
    Call 404-785-5615 for a pre-assessement by phone, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.choa.org/mmsurgery.  
  • Children's Outpatient Surgery Center at Satellite Boulevard
    Call 404-785-8134 for a pre-assessment by phone, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.choa.org/sbsurgery.  

Bring any paperwork your child's doctor has given you to this visit. If lab work is needed (such as taking a blood sample), it will be done during your child's visit, if possible.

Pre-admission Tour

To help prepare your child for his procedure, the Child Life department at Children's at Egleston and Children's at Scottish Rite offers pre-admission tours for those scheduled for medical procedures or surgeries. This service is provided by a child life specialist who is trained to help children and families cope with hospitalization and illness.

  • The tour before admission gives you and your child a chance to visit the hospital and see the sights, sounds and events you will experience the day of the procedure.
  • The tour will give your child a chance to build trust, understand what is involved and gain control over the experience. It is a non-threatening way to learn about the hospital.
  • Children are less scared when told what to expect and why. Pre-operative teaching can give your child the support that is needed.
  • Parents and children over the age of 3 are welcome – as well as brothers and sisters over 3.
  • Parents of children under the age of 3 are also invited; however, the tour is geared toward children over 3.

To attend a pre-admission tour, call:

  • Children's at Egleston at 404-785-6325
  • Children's at Scottish Rite at 404-785-4286