The first step in the surgical process is talking with your child’s doctor or surgeon. Together, you will determine whether a surgery (or any procedure requiring anesthesia) is the most effective treatment option for your child.
Questions for Your Child’s Doctor
You are an integral part of your child's surgical team. The more information you have, the more you can help your child through this process. Below are some questions you may want to ask the doctor. You can also download a PDF of these questions to bring with you to your doctor’s visit.
- Options: Is this surgery or procedure the best option? Are there alternatives?
- Outcomes: What are the possible outcomes for this surgery or procedure?
- Risks: Are there risks I should know about? Does this surgery have common complications? What will the team do to prepare?
- Length of procedure: How long does this surgery or procedure typically take?
- Incision: What type of incision will the surgeon use? Will it leave a scar?
- Anesthesia: What type of anesthesia will the team use? What other medications will they give my child before or after surgery?
- Recovery: What is recovery typically like for this surgery or procedure?
- Length of stay: Is this surgery outpatient, or will it require a stay in the hospital? If so, how long?
- Pain: What if my child is in pain after the surgery? What medicines will you give to help?
- Returning home: What do I need to know about taking care of my child once we return home?
- Resuming routine: How long before my child can go back to school and return to our normal routine?
- Rehabilitation: Will my child need rehab after the surgery? What kind? Do you offer rehab?
- Insurance: If I have questions about insurance or payment, whom should I talk to?
Scheduling Your Child’s Surgery
We will work with you to schedule a surgery date for your child. Once your child’s surgery is scheduled, the Pediatric Perioperative Surgical Home team will review and evaluate your child's entire medical history, current medications and allergies. Depending on the type of surgery, a nurse may call you to review these points.
While waiting for the surgery, if you believe your child is sick or ill, please notify our staff or call your surgeon immediately. In the days and weeks before surgery, try to make sure your child gets enough sleep and follows a nutritious diet. We want your child to be as strong and healthy as possible before his/her planned surgery.
Pre-Anesthesia Evaluation Visit
If your child’s surgeon has requested a pre-anesthesia evaluation visit, you will need to contact the Preoperative Evaluation and Planning Center (PEPC). Call 310-794-4494 to schedule an appointment at least two weeks before your child’s scheduled surgery date.
Please know, the surgeon will only require this visit for patients who have complex medical issues or have increased anesthesia risk. If you have specific concerns and believe your child should be seen in the PEPC, please ask your child’s doctor to make a referral. You can also email the pediatric anesthesia team directly at [email protected] with any questions.
The PEPC visit will include a complete medical history evaluation and a physical exam. Bring any applicable medical records from outside of UCLA Health with you when you come. If you have questions about what to bring, please call 310-794-4494.
COVID-19 Pre-Procedure Testing and Information
Your surgery or department coordinator will let you know if you need to complete a COVID-19 screening test before your surgery or procedure. They will provide detailed information on the required timing of the test, and help you schedule. If you haven’t been contacted, please reach out to the department, or call 310-825-2631. For all up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, visit https://www.uclahealth.org/conditions-we-treat/coronavirus. For visitor guidelines, visit https://www.uclahealth.org/conditions-we-treat/coronavirus/visitor-guidelines.
What to Read Next
Learn more about preparing for your child’s surgery.