Surgery Center

Excellence in Pediatric Surgery

We aspire to provide the highest quality of care to neonates, infants, children and adolescents born with or who develop a multitude of conditions of the respiratory, digestive, urinary, excretory and auditory systems. Our subspecialties include renal transplant, general surgery, bariatrics, urology and trauma.

Our physicians work closely with a multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists and nurses to provide conventional and nonconventional management for several conditions including gastroschisis, obesity and omphaloceles with excellent outcomes.

Innovative Management Approaches

Our physicians understand swift recovery, minimal post-operative hospitalization and reduced pain are essential for the psychological, physiological and overall well-being of the child. Therefore, we actively strive to utilize the least invasive management techniques, such as laparoscopy, thoracoscopy and endoscopy, where possible, and continue to research favorable management approaches for various conditions.

Surgeries We Perform

  • Appendicitis
  • Biliary atresia or jaundice
  • Chest wall reconstruction
  • Choledochal cyst
  • Congenital anomalies (birth defects)
  • Crohn's disease/ulcerative colitis (IBD)
  • Dermoid cyst
  • Fistula-in-ano (anal infection or abscess)
  • Gallstones/gallbladder disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastroschisis/omphalocele
  • Groin or umbilical hernia
  • Imperforate anus
  • Intestinal obstruction, intussusception, duodenal atresia
  • ITP/hereditary spherocytosis
  • Lymphangioma (cystic hygroma)
  • Malrotation of intestines
  • Mesenteric/duplication cyst
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Ovarian cyst or tumor
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Pilonidal cyst/sinus/abscess
  • Pyloric stenosis
  • Sacrococcygeal teratoma
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Renal transplant
  • Trauma Procedures as needed
  • Appendicovesicostomy
  • Chronic constipation
  • Nephrectomy
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Testicular torsion
  • Ureteral re-implantation
  • Vesicostomy
  • Wilms' tumor/multicystic nephroma
This is not a complete list and we encourage you to call our offices for the profile of our team as well as with any question on additional services we provide.

Surgery Information

  • Packets to the physician's offices are available upon request. Packets include brief history and physical forms, instruction forms and information for the patient concerning their upcoming hospital stay.
  • Pre-op visits and phone calls - visits are scheduled at the convenience of the patient. Calls are made to any family unable to come for visits.
  • Complete staff of registered nurses who are PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certified.
  • Private and semi-private patient rooms are available, and all rooms have TV/VCRs for educational programming.
  • A play area is available for children to play while they wait to be taken to surgery.
  • A child life specialist is available to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic interventions for our children receiving medical treatment. Our specialist works to help manage anxiety and stress before surgical procedures.
  • Three comfortable waiting areas are provided, complete with activities and games for those waiting.
  • A post-operative call is made to follow up on instructions given the first work day after a patient visit.

The Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour is offered to help reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with having surgery. A Child Life specialist will provide general information about Driscoll Children's Hospital Day Surgery unit, what you and your child can expect on the day of surgery and answers to any questions or concerns you or your child may have about the surgery process. Tours are encouraged for children of all ages, parents and siblings.

Reserve your spot on our next tour by calling (361) 694-5760 or by emailing [email protected].

Important Items to Pack

  • Medicine: Bring your child's medicine to the hospital. The doctor taking care of your child may want to give a dose prior to surgery.
  • ATM card or cash: The cafeteria takes cash, debit cards and credit cards. An ATM is located on the first floor in the main lobby. Moms with a hospitalized, breastfed baby will receive meals in their room at no charge.
  • Clothing: Driscoll Children's Hospital provides gowns and footwear. Keep in mind your child may feel better in his/her own clothes, including comfortable day clothes like sweatpants, large T-shirts, socks and underwear, and night clothes like pajamas, a robe and slippers.
  • Play and comfort items: A favorite blanket, toy, book, video or music (with headphones) will help soothe your child. Consider bringing pictures of family, friends and pets.
  • Baby needs: We provide diapers, bottles and formula. Bring a pacifier if your baby uses one or any special types of bottles, nipples or sippy cups.
  • Car seat, booster or seat belt: Please remember to use a car seat, booster seat or seat belt (depending on your child's age and weight) when transporting your child.


It is normal to be nervous about your child's hospitalization; we can answer your questions, so you know what to expect. Your child will take cues from you, so if you understand what is going to happen and are relaxed, you will lessen your child's fears.

Prior to the day of surgery, engaging in conversations with your child can empower them for the upcoming stay at Driscoll Children's Hospital. These talks provide an opportunity to address any concerns, educate them about what to expect and help calm any anxiety. Before the discussion, prepare by reading about your child's health information and speaking with the medical staff. If your child seems uneasy with talking about the hospital, stop and try again later. Also, make sure your child understands that needing to visit the hospital does not mean they did something wrong.

As you talk with your child, these tips can help them feel safer about their upcoming visit:

  • Listen to your child.
  • Be honest about what will happen and what may hurt.
  • Use short, simple terms they know.
  • Reassure your child that if something hurts, there are ways to make the pain go away, including medicine, relaxation, listening to music and playing games.
  • Use one of your child's stuffed animals to show what will happen and to encourage them to talk about their fears.
  • Let your child know that you will be with them as much as you can and that one parent can sleep near them.

Helping Children of Different Ages

Children understand things based on their age and developmental level. You probably have many ideas of your own. Here are some of ours that you might also find helpful:

Infants and Toddlers
Infants and toddlers need to have familiar objects around them at the hospital. Bring some of your child's favorite toys and their own blanket. The more you maintain usual routines, such as feeding and bathing, the more comfortable they are likely to be at the hospital. Arrange for a close family member or friend to be with your child during visiting hours if you must be away from the hospital or need a break.

Two to Six-Year-Olds
As children get older, they can be told that they are going to the hospital and what will happen there. It is important to let your child express his/her feelings. Give clear and simple responses. Say things like, "I'll bet you're wondering what it's going to be like at the hospital, aren't you?" Let your child be the doctor to you, a doll or stuffed toy. They can "operate" on it, give it "shots" or just apply a Band-Aid.

Six to Twelve-Year-Olds
Many of our suggestions for younger children are helpful with this age group. However, these children understand more than younger children and will likely ask more questions about their illness or surgery. Explain that the hospital treats children of all ages with many different medical problems. It's important to explain that doctors, nurses and other people at the hospital will do certain tests and procedures to find out what's wrong and how to make them feel better.

Teenagers can understand full explanations about their illness and treatment, but that doesn't mean they completely understand everything that will happen. They may be reluctant to ask questions. Encourage your teenager to talk with their doctors and nurses about their condition. Be sure the teenager is included in discussions and decisions about their care so they will feel independent and more in control. Your teen may be worried about his/her privacy. Reassure him/her that the hospital staff will treat them with respect. Even at this age, a familiar object, book or video can help them feel calmer at the hospital.

Your Child’s Team

Your child's primary care team will include people from various professions. All staff wear identification badges with their photo and name. Be sure to ask who is caring for your child if an introduction is not made.

A registered nurse (RN) on each shift is assigned to care for your child. The RN is your main contact with other members of your child's healthcare team. This nurse will teach you and your child about his/her care during and after a surgery or hospital stay.

The attending physician is your child's main doctor while he or she is at the hospital. The attending physician leads the team in developing the treatment plan for your child. Your child will also receive care from resident physicians and fellows. These are licensed doctors who are receiving specialized pediatric training. They keep the attending physician informed about your child's progress.

Parents’ Essential Role

You are an important member of your child's healthcare team. As the main source of nurturing and support for your child, we hope you can continue to take care of his/her basic needs. If you need to be away from your child for long periods of time, you may want to ask a relative or friend to fill in for you. If this is not possible, we'll try to have a volunteer visit your child on a regular basis. Please ask one of our staff if you need this help.

You can be with your child during most tests and procedures, except during surgeries. Most procedures are done in treatment rooms away from your child's bed. Staff and Child Life specialists will explain to you and your child what to expect, when something may hurt and how to minimize pain. Your child's doctor will prescribe any necessary pain medicine. Your child's nurse can help you understand and assist with your child's pain management needs.

Be direct with us in asking for what you and your child need. Learn more about our Patient Relations Department that is available to you.

For more information about our patient and family rights, see Rights and Responsibilities. You may also fill out a suggestion card at any elevator lobby or call Patient Relations at (361) 694-4035.

Will my baby be able to continue breastfeeding following surgery?
When a baby is having surgery, it can be a frightening experience for the parents and the child. However, the closeness and security derived from breastfeeding can be very calming and comforting. Usually, when a baby is scheduled for surgery, breastfeeding will have to be delayed for a period of time prior to, during and after surgery. This is true for either a minor procedure, in which your baby will only need to be in the hospital for a few hours, or more extensive procedures requiring several days of hospitalization.

Feedings usually need to be withheld around the time of surgery because the anesthesia given to help your baby sleep during an operation may cause nausea and vomiting if your baby has been fed recently. Going to surgery with an empty stomach can help prevent serious problems that may occur if your baby vomits during the operation. In most cases, your baby will be able to continue to breastfeed up to a few hours before surgery. However, it is essential that you check with your child's physician prior to surgery. If a feeding is given too close to the time of surgery, the operation may have to be rescheduled.

Managing Breastfeeding After Surgery

In most cases, your baby will be able to return to breastfeeding once he/she is awake enough to drink liquids without problems, as advised by his/her physician. Regardless of the length of time this takes, there are some things you can do to make the experience less stressful, including the following:

  • Since you may have to miss one or more breastfeeding sessions, pumping your breasts to express your milk will relieve discomfort and maintain your milk supply. This process will be a little easier if you plan ahead.
  • Ask your baby's physician or nurse where you may pump while at the hospital. Electric pumps are usually available for your use. If you will be missing more than a few nursing sessions and will not be at the hospital all the time, you might want to rent an electric breast pump from the hospital to use during this time.
  • Steady milk production depends on effective and regular milk expression until your baby is ready and able to resume breastfeeding. Pump on the same schedule as your baby would normally breastfeed and use a double collection kit that allows you to pump both breasts at once. Most mothers will need to pump for about 10 minutes when double-pumping, or 10 minutes on each breast. If your baby is a newborn and your milk has not yet come in, be sure to pump at least eight times in 24 hours. You may not see any milk during the first several pumping sessions, and you may only get drops for several sessions after that. The milk produced before day three to five after delivery is called colostrum, and it is normally produced in low amounts. However, colostrum is especially rich in the anti-infective factors that are important for your baby.
  • Breast milk may be frozen for several months, or refrigerated and used within 24 to 48 hours after pumping. You will need to properly collect, label and store your milk. Consult an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) for more information about pumping and breast milk storage.
  • In most cases, you can resume breastfeeding when your baby has awakened from the anesthesia. However, surgery can be very disruptive and your baby may not be interested or ready to breastfeed immediately after surgery. If your baby is not able to breastfeed for the usual length of time, you can pump after the feeding to empty your breasts and maintain your milk production.

Since this is a stressful time for the family, you may find that your milk supply is reduced. Remember to rest and maintain your food and fluid intake during this time to help you stay healthy and maintain your breast milk supply.


A pediatric surgeon is available for your questions and consultations. Please call (361) 694-4700.

Postoperative care lasts from the time your child enters the recovery room until discharge from the hospital. The length of this phase depends on the type of surgery and your child's medical condition. Most children with minor surgical procedures may be discharged on the same day of the procedure. Major surgeries will require longer recovery times and perhaps, a stay in intensive care.

During this time, it will be helpful to become familiar with the normal discomforts that your child may experience following surgery and the usual measures taken to help control pain postoperatively.
A pediatric surgeon is available for your questions and consultations. Please call  (361) 694-4700.

When will my child be discharged from the hospital?
If your child is having minor surgery, he/she may be discharged home a few hours after the procedure. Your child's healthcare team will make sure that he/she is fully awake, that vital signs (i.e., heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and blood pressure) are normal and that he/she can take some liquids by mouth without vomiting.

Even after minor surgery, some children will remain in the hospital overnight for observation and to receive medications to help with pain or to prevent infection. One parent will be able to stay with your child overnight. In the morning, your surgeon will examine your child and determine if he/she may be discharged.

If your child is discharged within 24 hours after surgery, you may notice he/she:

  • May sleep more than usual for the first day or two at home
  • May have some nausea and vomiting or no appetite
  • May be a little unsteady when walking

These problems are usually related to anesthesia and should improve after 24 to 48 hours at home. If symptoms persist, consult your child's physician.

After major surgery, your child will need to stay in the hospital. Some children may be in the ICU for one or more nights. From the ICU, your child will be transferred to the regular pediatric unit. Your surgeon should be able to give you an estimate of the number of days your child will be in the hospital when you first discuss surgery.

After your surgeon has determined your child may be discharged, a registered nurse will need to discuss home care with you as well as provide you with written instructions. Before discharge, make sure you understand:

  • Any treatments you need to provide for your child at home, such as changing dressings on a wound or doing deep breathing exercises
  • Medications you may need to give your child, such as antibiotics or pain medications
  • Any activity restrictions your child may have and for how long they must be observed
  • When your child may have a bath or shower
  • When your child may return to school or daycare and whether they need written permission from the physician to return. This is also a good time to get a note excusing him/her from physical education.
  • Signs and symptoms of possible complications from your child's particular kind of surgery and who to report them
  • When to return for a follow-up appointment
If your child will need to take medications at home, a prescription will be provided for you to fill at the local pharmacy of your choice.

Will my child be in pain after surgery?
After surgery, there may be physical causes of pain; however, the sensation of pain also depends on complex mental and emotional factors. Determining the level of pain that your child has can be very challenging. The surgical team may use a scale of 0 to 10 or illustrations of faces to help your child describe pain. The physicians caring for your child can determine the usual discomfort for a certain operation and give the prescribed medication; however, as parents, you know your child best. If your child is unusually agitated or withdrawn, you should let your child's healthcare team know so they can further assess the effectiveness of the prescribed medication.

What pain medications will my child receive?
There are a wide variety of pain medications that your child can receive. Your child's physician will order the specific medication(s) he/she thinks will be most effective. Your child's physician will determine this by the type of surgery your child had, your child's age and development and any previous experience your child has had with surgery and administration of pain medications.

If your child has moderate to severe pain, he/she will most likely receive narcotics during and after surgery. If your child is in the ICU after surgery, he/she may also receive sedatives along with analgesics (pain medications). Sedatives can decrease anxiety, induce sleep and eliminate the memory of unpleasant events. Narcotics are not addictive when used for appropriate pain control.

How will my child receive pain medication?
If your child is receiving non-narcotic analgesics, they are often given in pill form for older children and as a liquid medication for younger children. Sometimes, your child may experience nausea and vomiting after surgery. In this instance, suppositories can be used if needed.

Your child may have an intravenous (IV) line after surgery, especially if he/she is staying in the hospital overnight or being admitted for several days. Many pain medications can be given in the intravenous (IV) fluids that are infusing into your child's vein.

What is an epidural pump?
During certain surgeries, epidural anesthesia is used. This type of anesthesia is given through a small catheter into the "epidural space" surrounding the spinal cord. The catheter can be connected to a pump that will give a constant flow of medication. After surgery, this catheter can be left in for one or two days.

What is a PCA pump?
PCA stands for patient-controlled analgesia. With a PCA pump, your child can receive a continuous dosage of narcotic medication through an IV, an intermittent dosage or both. With intermittent dosages, your child decides when he/she feels bad and pushes a button that administers a dosage of pain medication. For example, your child may come back from surgery with a PCA pump that has been programmed to give pain medication at a continuous dosage every hour. The pump can also be programmed for your child to give additional amounts of medication when he/she needs it, by pushing a button. The dosage is determined by your child's physician, and your child cannot give him/herself too much. The day after surgery, your child's surgeon may discontinue the continuous infusion and then only intermittent dosages will be given when the button is pushed. The pump settings can only be adjusted by your child's healthcare team with a special key. Children as young as four years old have been shown to use PCA pumps effectively.

Will my child receive analgesics (pain medications) at home?
Your child's physician will discuss with you the need for medications at home. If your child will still require narcotics, you will be given these prescriptions before your child is discharged.

Relieving My Child's Discomfort

Parents can comfort their child better than anyone else. The following are some suggestions that might prove helpful in comforting your child:

  • All children need to be held, stroked and touched by those who are most important to them. Ask for help from the nursing staff if you would like to hold your child, especially if you are not exactly sure how to go about it because of equipment or bandages.
  • Play is a familiar part of your child's day. It can help relieve tension for both of you and can also provide a distraction that helps your child feel better. If your child can be up and out of bed, ask about the playroom in the hospital that he/she can go to. Also, bring story books, coloring books, puzzles, board games and other toys that can be used in bed.
  • Ask what entertainment options are available for your child to use in bed or in the playroom, such as movies or video games.
  • Music can be very comforting and has been shown to relieve muscle tension.
  • Ask to speak with a child life specialist who may be able to offer additional coping strategies for your child.

Where will my child recover from surgery?

Once surgery has been completed, your child will be brought to the recovery room, also called the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). In the recovery room, registered nurses, anesthesiologists and other healthcare professionals will closely monitor your child as he/she "awakens" from anesthesia. The length of time spent in recovery depends on the type of surgery performed, your child's response to surgery and anesthesia, and your child's medical condition. While your child is in recovery, the staff will (when applicable) complete the following:

  • Monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse and breathing
  • Monitor for any signs of complications
  • Take your child's temperature
  • Monitor your child's level of consciousness
  • Check tubes or drains
  • Check the wound
  • Check intravenous (IV) infusions
  • Monitor your child's urine output
  • Maintain your child's comfort with pain medication and body positioning
  • Make sure your child is awake enough to swallow effectively before offering something to drink

When your child is awake and his/her vital signs are stable, he/she will be brought back to a regular hospital room or discharged home.

The goal of therapeutic play is to provide a family-centered approach to help your child adjust to hospital care. A child life specialist can help meet the emotional needs of children in the hospital by getting to know your child, giving him/her a chance to express himself/herself and allowing him/her to adjust to being in the hospital through therapeutic play. Parents of infants are offered a chance to learn new skills to comfort their baby and ways they can encourage their baby's continued development while their baby is recovering in the hospital.

Child life specialists can help your child and the other children in your family with:

  • Play activities to prepare your child for medical procedures and learn about his/her surgery
  • Relaxation and pain management skills
  • Providing an opportunity for your child to express his/her feelings through normal play
  • Brother/sister needs:
    • Children at home may be worried about their sibling who is in the hospital. They may be upset because Mom and Dad are away from them more than usual. The child life specialist can help you answer questions you may have about any children at home.
    • Visiting the hospital can also be stressful for brothers and sisters. The child life specialist can help prepare siblings before they visit so they can understand what they see and how they feel before and after their visit to their sibling in the hospital.

It is extremely important that you have followed all instructions given to you by your child's surgeon during the preoperative visit. Arriving at the wrong time or allowing your child to eat and drink after the prescribed times can cause delays in your child's surgery or perhaps even postpone or cancel it.

It is recommended that you make arrangements for other siblings to be cared for at home. Your attention needs to be focused on your child having surgery.

Before coming to the hospital, remove any jewelry (i.e., watches, necklaces or earrings) that your child wears and leave them at home so they are not misplaced. Also, have your child remove nail polish so that the color of the nail beds can be observed during and post-surgery.

When at the hospital, you may expect the following to occur:

  • Your child will change into a hospital gown.
  • Your child will receive a hospital identification bracelet with his/her name, birth date and hospital number on it.
  • Vital signs will be taken, such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
  • Many of the same questions you have answered before will be asked again. This is a safety measure to ensure that all the information in your child's record is correct. You will be asked about allergies, medications and if your child has been exposed to any contagious diseases.
  • An anesthesiologist will see your child to answer any questions and examine your child.
  • A child life specialist will see your child to help prepare him/her for what to expect and to answer any questions your child may have.
  • In most cases, your child's surgeon will see you to make sure your child is ready for the surgery.

As the parent, if your child has an allergy to medications or latex, make sure the staff places an allergy bracelet on him/her and that the allergy is noted on the outside of the hospital chart.
When it is time for surgery, an operating room staff member will come to escort your child to the operating room. You may walk alongside your child up to the operating room hallway. This is where you will give hugs, kisses and tell your child that you will wait for him/her close by and will see him/her soon. Your child's identity will be verified again and the patient chart will be checked to make sure all information is correct. You will be directed where to wait while your child is in surgery. When the surgery is over, the surgeon will speak with you and let you know the results of the operation.

After surgery

After surgery, most children go to the recovery room (or post-anesthesia care unit) to allow the anesthesia to wear off. Depending on the type of surgery, your child may be discharged or may go to:

  • The hospital unit to recover for 24 hours or less
  • The hospital unit to recover for a few days
  • An intensive care unit to recover for a few hours or days, then to the hospital unit until the time for discharge

Types of Surgery

You and your child's physician will discuss surgery as a way to correct your child's health problem. This decision will be based on careful evaluation of your child's medical history and medical tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, MRI, CT scan, electrocardiogram or other laboratory work performed to determine the exact diagnosis.

Surgery can be classified as major or minor, depending on the seriousness of the illness, the parts of the body affected, the complexity of the operation and the expected recovery time.

  • Major surgery: These are surgeries of the head, neck, chest and abdomen. The recovery time can be lengthy and may involve a stay in intensive care or several days in the hospital. There is a higher risk of complications after such surgeries. In children, types of major surgery may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Removal of brain tumors Correction of bone malformations of the skull and faceRepair of congenital heart disease, transplantation of organs and repair of intestinal malformationsCorrection of spinal abnormalities and treatment of injuries sustained from major blunt traumaCorrection of problems in fetal development of the lungs, intestines, diaphragm or anus
    Minor surgery: Some surgeries that children undergo are considered minor. The recovery time is short and children return to their usual activities rapidly. These surgeries are most often done as an outpatient, and children can return home the same day. Complications from these types of surgeries are rare. Examples of the most common types of minor surgeries may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Placement of ear tubes Hernia repairs Correction of bone fracturesRemoval of skin lesionsBiopsy of growths
  • Elective surgery: These are procedures that may be helpful, but are not necessarily essential, for your child to undergo. An example might be to have a birthmark removed or to circumcise your male infant.

    Required surgery: These are procedures that need to be done to ensure the quality of your child's life in the future. An example might be having a spinal fusion to correct severe curvature of the spine. Required surgery, unlike emergency surgery, does not necessarily have to be done immediately and can allow you time to prepare your child for the experience.

    Urgent or emergency surgery: This type of surgery is done in response to an urgent medicalneed, such as the correction of a life-threatening congenital heart malformation or the repair ofinjured internal organs after an automobile accident.

    Methods of Surgery

    With technical advances today, surgery does not necessarily mean large incisions, as in the past.The surgical method performed varies depending on the type of procedure, and they may include the following:

    Open surgery: An open surgery means cutting skin and tissues, so the surgeon has direct accessto the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery include the removal of organs,such as the gallbladder or kidney.

    Minimally invasive surgery: Minimally invasive surgery refers to any surgical technique that does not require a large incision. This allows the child to recuperate faster and with less pain.Not all conditions are treatable with minimally invasive surgery. Some minimally invasive surgical techniques include the following:

    • Laparoscopy—a procedure that uses a tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (laparoscope) to examine organs, check for abnormalities or perform minimally invasive surgeries. Laparoscopy is a surgery which eliminates making large incisions.Tissue samples may also be taken for examination and testing.
    • Endoscopy—a procedure that uses a small, flexible tube with a light and acamera lens at the end (endoscope) to examine the inside of the digestive tract.Tissue samples from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for examination and testing.
    • Arthroscopy—a technique most often used to inspect and surgically correct the inside of the knee joint.With the use of an endoscope, surgeon scan look at the interior of a joint.
    • Bronchoscopy—the examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs)using a flexible tube (bronchoscope). Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, obtain samples of tissue and/or fluid and/or help remove a foreign body.
    • Cystoscopy—examining the inside of the urethra and bladder cavity with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).
    • Gastroscopy—examining the lining of the stomach with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).
    • Laryngoscopy—inspecting the larynx (voice box) with a small, flexible tube with alight and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).
    • Sigmoidoscopy—examination of the rectum and sigmoidcolon with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

    The Hospital Setting

    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:

    • The reason for surgery
    • Whether the surgery is considered major or minor
    • Whether or not the surgery is an emergency
    • Your physician's preferences
    • Your preferences

    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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