On the day of surgery both parents can accompany their child to the waiting area outside the operating room. It is here that you will be introduced to the operating room personnel who will be caring for your child during surgery. The circulating nurse and anesthesiologist will introduce themselves and will proceed to familiarize themselves with your child's history, medical allergies, when he or she last ate and drank, and whether or not you or your family have donated blood for the child's surgery.
Before surgery begins, the resident or circulating nurse will place a tube through your child's urinary outlet into his or her bladder. This will be used too drain the bladder during the operation and to monitor urine production. Your child will then be placed into position for surgery and the operative site prepared by scrubbing the area with a bacteriocidal solution.
As you enter the operating room, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of personnel and the amount of equipment present. In addition to the circulating nurse and anesthesiologist, you will see a scrub nurse, surgical and anesthesia residents, and physicians and technologists involved with monitoring of the functioning of your child's nervous system during the operation. It is not unusual for one of the parents to accompany their child into the operating room. When allowed, this greatly reduces the child's anxiety.
The anesthesiologist and the resident will initially apply several monitoring devices to your child; A breathing mask will be placed over your child's mouth and nose. If the child chooses, an IV can be started instead and IV medications used to put the child to sleep.
Once your child is asleep, you will be escorted out of the room by the circulating nurse. If an IV has not been started, it will be at this point and the level of anesthesia deepened using IV medications. Once the child is thoroughly asleep, the anesthesiologist will intubate the child and then placed on a breathing machine.
The surgical resident will assist the surgeon with your child's procedure.
During surgery the most suitable place for you to wait is either in your child's room or in a designated lounge. Your surgeon or his/her staff will tell you which is best.
You have familiarized yourself with the events which occur in the operating room. It is important that you and your child also ask questions to decrease the normal anxiety associated with facing the unknown. Together, the operating room personnel will provide a comfortable and secure environment while working to give your child the expected positive outcome.