A common question at cleftAdvocate's Family-To-Family Connection is...

What should we ask our child's surgeon during pre-op?
(Compiled by Family-To-Family Connection members.)

Exactly how will the procedure be done?

How long will the surgery last?

What types of physical distress will there be (i.e. swelling, bruising, redness of the area?) How long will these last?

Can I see pictures of children who have been through similar surgeries so I know what to expect? (hospital pics so as not to be surprised)

How long will the IV need to be in?

How long will he/she be in the hospital?

What type of sutures do you use (dissolving or none)? When will the sutures be removed? Is this an office or hospital procedure? Do you use a tongue stitch?

What type of diet/food restrictions will be required? Before and after surgery?

How soon after surgery can I hold my baby?

What are the discharge requirements? Will baby need to be eating/drinking so much liquid, have a certain number of wet diapers, etc. before being released?

Can we be present when the anesthesia is administered?

Are we allowed in the recovery room? When he/she wakes up, can we be there?

How much time will be spent in the recovery room?

What can we expect when we go to the hospital for surgery? Check-in procedures, etc.

Are there any tests that need to be done the day of surgery, or can we have them done ahead of time?

Can we stay with our child in the room?

Can we get advance copies of the paperwork that will need to be signed the day of surgery so that we may review it ahead of time?

Do parents or nursing/pumping moms get meals?

What are parents responsible to bring? (e.g., does the hospital or surgeon's office supply arm immobilizers or do the parents get those from an earlier visit and bring them?)

What types of events after surgery can make scarring worse?

What type of pain medicine my child be prescribed? How often can he/she have it? Will he/she sleep a lot more due to drugs? What are the side effects?  Will we have a prescription for it or can we get it at the hospital?

Should we clean the sutures? How do we do this? How often?

Whom should we call if we have any questions at all after surgery? Hospital?  Surgeon? Primary Care Physician?

What restrictions or limitations will he/she have after surgery? How long will my child need to use arm immobilizers, if at all? What about supervised periods of time without them?

When will we have our first follow-up visit? Do I need to make this appointment myself or will the hospital staff make it for me?
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This cleftAdvocate page was last updated March 25, 2014
Surgery Questions
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