My Child's Surgery | My Experience & Advise

Isla being put under anaesthetic for surgery this year was a big shock for us, you can read about her accident here, but to cut it short she had a accident in the evening and the first thing the next morning we was up at the hospital waiting for her to have surgery, as you can imagine we didn't have much time to prepare her or ourselves for it. But I hope this may help you with what to expect and ways to make it more of a pleasant experience (if that is even possible) for you and your little one. 


So firstly your going to need to pack a bag for your little one, we knew Isla would only be in for the day so I didnt need to go to crazy. But what I did was 

- Sort out a comfy outfit for travelling to and from the hospital.
- Pack your Childs favourite toy / comforter.
- A pillow, for your child to use or even for yourself as those hospital chairs are so uncomfy! 
- Pyjamas (if overnight stay)
- Slippers / socks as when they are in their gown they will need to walk around.
- A favourite book.
- An iPad .. luckily Isla was given one by the hospital for when she was wheeled down to the surgery room, she was so happy with it and it definitely kept her calm while they was putting the cannula in her hand, so maybe take your own for this time in case your hospital don't provide this. 
- Change for the car park.
- A magazine or book for yourself to read while your little one is having surgery. 

Here is a run through of what happened on the day of Isla's surgery so you can get an idea of what to expect (I know it will probably be different for you but I hope it can help in some ways)

- Isla was not allowed any food or water from the night before her surgery, this was so hard to explain to a 4 year old! 
- We arrived at the hospital and headed to the ward, checked in and was asked to wait in a small waiting room. It was full of toys and so Isla was happy playing and didn't get bored waiting thankfully.
- We then got called and followed a doctor to a ward where we was given a bed, they weighed Isla, put her wristband on and then the doctor and surgeon came to see us and talk through the surgery, I had to fill in and sign some paperwork and was asked lots of questions. 
- A nurse came over and put some "magic" cream on each of Isla's hands, she then placed a clear plaster over the top, what this does is numb the hand for when they have the cannula put in. 
- We was then asked to move on to the day ward, id imagine you would stay in that bed if it was a overnight stay. 
- On the day ward we was given another bed, but in each section of beds was a table full of toys, they also had a main waiting area on the ward that you was free to use, this had loads of toys and even a wii! 
- A nurse will come over and take your little ones obs, and then they will give you the gown to get your child changed into. Isla had nail varnish on her nails (obviously we had no idea we was coming) so we had to remove that, and we also had to use a hair band with no metal on as well. You also need to get them to have a wee before they go down as well.
- After a while a nurse will come over and either Mum or Dad can go down to the surgery room with the child. I decided to go and so I was given a blue apron to put on. 
- Isla was given a iPad thankfully, and so she was playing on that while they wheeled her down to the surgery room, you will be able to stay with your child until they go asleep (prepare to cry) 
- They check about 3 times to confirm they have the right child going in for the right thing, then they take the plaster off the hand and put the cannula in, I'm so lucky that Isla didn't cry at all but I could tell it was uncomfortable for her. 
- When putting Isla to sleep they injected some medicine into her cannula, and then placed a gas mark over her nose and mouth, it took only seconds before her eyes slowly closed and then we waited for the 'wiggle' which is a little shake they usually do once they have fully gone to sleep.
- Once your child is asleep you will be walked back to the ward with a nurse, your allowed to stay on the ward or you can go to the food court, you just need to give your phone number before you leave.
- We went for something to eat as we was starving, and spent some time downstairs, we then received a phone call to say she was awake and we could go back. 
- Once back on the ward I put my blue apron on and again a nurse walked back down with me and showed me to where she was in recovery. She was still a bit sleepy but majorly clingy, we had a cuddle on the seat and once they was happy with her I placed her back on the bed and she was wheeled up to the ward again. 
- After a while your little one will be offered food and drink, Isla was given a yoghurt and ice cream as she was now on a soft food diet, she also had some juice. All great signs that she was doing well and it wouldn't be long before we could go home. 


- Once she had perked up a bit she was back to playing with toys, we got her to have a another wee, by this time the surgeon had come to see us and talked through how it went and what he had done, he answered any concerns or questions that we had and gave us some aftercare instructions. 
-  After 2 hours we was allowed to go home, we got Isla dressed and then a nurse came over to take her cannula out. All the staff on children wards are so good with them, they really helped her and made the best of the situation. We was given more paperwork to take home with a care sheet, a certificate for bravery for Isla and a course of antibiotics. 

We all got home feeling very tired, and hungry. It is no way nice watching your child being put to sleep, I cried a lot while she was under, but due to the shock of the whole accident and situation that didn't help. Just try to get a goods night sleep the night before, keep calm and try not to show your emotions in front of your little one. If your child is having planned surgery I hope this can help you prepare or know a little of what to expect. 

6 comments :

  1. So sorry to hear that Isla had an accident. We are so fortunate to have the NHS aren't we !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some great tips. I imagine it was a pretty scary experience for all of you. So glad she's okay now ox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I'm so sorry to hear about the accident! I'm happy that she's okay now, first times are usually the most scary but let's hope that was was the last one :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so interesting to read. I think it definitely helps to know what is going to happen so you can talk things through with your child and make them less worried. So cool that they had iPads for them as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad she's okay now, really useful to other parents to read the procedures leading up to an op. My eldest had an emergency op at 5 years old so I had no time to prepare and less time to worry.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poor thing, I'm so sorry to hear she had an accident, but she is very brave and happy that she is much better now. I remember when I was younger I I tripped and split my ear in two, my parents totally freaked out and was not prepared, but with these tips and advice it's perfect for any parent to put their mind at ease.

    ReplyDelete

I read all your comments and will reply when I can :)