At Valley’s surgical locations in Ridgewood and Paramus, we know it is the little things that are important to your little ones – and to you. That is why we have established a special program that orients you and your child to the experience you will have when you come for surgery.
Preparing Your Child for Surgery
Once your child has been scheduled for surgery, we ask that you call 201-634-5315 to set up an appointment to tour the Center. When you come in for the tour, we will explain to you and your child what will happen on the day of the surgery. In addition, we have a special package for your child, which includes a surgical cap, mask and a coloring book that features scenes from a pediatric surgical experience. And our pediatric playroom and friendly surgical team will help your child stay relaxed and cheerful throughout the entire process.
The Day of Your Child's Surgery
On the day of surgery, your child should wear loose, comfortable cothing. Please bring an extra complete set of clothing, diapers and a bottle or sippy cup, as well as any special formula that your infant may need. In addition, we recommend bringing a backpack with some of your child's favorite books, toys, coloring books, etc., and patients are welcome to wear their favorite set of pajamas during their stay. Children who use iPads, portable DVD players and other devices may use them in the pre-operative area.
Our goal is to make you and your child as comfortable as possible on the day of his or her surgery. To that end, we have reduced the amount of time you are required to be away from your child to a minimum. You can remain with your child up until the time of surgery and rejoin your child in the recovery room when he or she awakens. If you are considering accompanying your child into the operating room until he or she is asleep, please discuss this ahead of time with your surgeon. This option will be discussed further with the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery.
Your anesthesiologist will visit you and your child before surgery to explain the type of anesthesia being given and how it will be administered; determine if pre-medication is to be given; and answer any questions you may have. The operating room nurses will also visit you and your child and explain what to expect, helping to further reduce anxiety.
Your child's length of stay will depend on his or her individual situation. Most children who undergo same-day surgery will leave within approximately 1 to 2 hours after their procedure. Some types of surgery require overnight admission. Speak with your child's surgeon about this ahead of time. The surgeon will speak with you as soon as your child's surgery is complete and will give you post-operative instructions, including when to go for your follow-up appointment at the surgeon's office. A registered nurse will review any medications ordered for home and reinforce instructions from the surgeon.
After Your Child's Surgery
We recommend that you choose a pharmacy with evening hours and one that is close to home. If your child's surgery is at the Luckow Pavilion, you can fill your child's prescriptions at Valley Health Pharmacy, located in the lobby.
Keep your surgeon's phone number handy for any questions, problems or emergencies. If there is an emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room and notify your surgeon immediately. For other types of questions, call your surgeon's office any time of day or night, stating the problem and that your child has just had surgery.
Pediatric Fasting Requirements for Day of Surgery
0-6 Months of Age:
No solid food, formula or milk for four hours prior to surgery. May have clear liquids until two hours prior to surgery.
6 Months to 3 Years of Age:
No solid food, milk or formula for six hours prior to surgery. May have clear liquids (apple juice, water, ginger ale, etc) until four hours prior to surgery, if your child wakes during the night or surgery is later in the day. Most likely, this age group will have an early arrival time and surgical time, so they should not have anything orally the morning of surgery.
3 Years to 15 Years of Age:
No solid food or milk for eight hours prior to surgery. May have clear liquids (apple juice, water, ginger ale, etc.) until four hours prior to surgery, if your child wakes during the night or surgery is later in the day. NOTE: Children in this category will most likely be told to have nothing after midnight because their arrival time and surgical time will be early in the morning hours. Many teens and pre-teens are adult size and need to have nothing after midnight, including water, ice, candy, mints, gum, etc.