Let’s talk pre-operative (pre-op) calls.
What is a pre-op call and why do we make them? We make pre-op calls for two main reasons.
1. To gather information about your child before their surgery.
2. To give you information you will need for your child’s surgery day.
You may actually receive more than one pre-op call. You might receive a call 2-14 days before surgery to ask about your child’s current health issues, medication they are taking, past procedures or surgeries they might have had, if they have been exposure to any illnesses, and other health related questions. During this call you may be given a tentative time for the surgery.
The other call will be on the day before surgery. During this call we usually review your child’s health information again. You will be given the time the surgery has been scheduled. Based on this time you will be given a time to arrive at the hospital or surgery center. You will also be given instructions on a variety of things including any bathing your child will need to do before arrival, things you should bring or shouldn’t bring to the hospital, things your child should or shouldn’t wear to the hospital, and most importantly when your child will need to stop eating and drinking.
Make sure to write down all this information. We don’t want you to have to remember all that we are telling you. Also this is usually the last time you will talk to anyone before arriving for your child’s surgery. Be prepared to ask any questions you might still have, ie how long the surgery is scheduled to last? How long will your child be in the recovery room? Is your child scheduled to spend the night?, etc.
Most of the time these calls are made by a nurse. We usually have the answers or know where to get the answers to all of your questions. Occasionally we might tell you that a question is best answered by your surgeon or anesthesiologist. In these cases you will have a chance to ask them on the day of surgery when you meet with them in the pre-op area.
No matter when you get the pre-op call, it’s important to follow the instructions as best you can and make sure you UNDERSTAND all the information you were given. It will help make your child’s surgery days go as smooth as possible.
And – as always, if you know someone who is looking for resources for medical encounters please send them our way.