Pediatric Day Surgery Information
At Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, we’re deeply committed to children’s health and wellness. We offer state-of-the-art facilities, and our physicians follow the latest advances in minimally invasive procedures and surgical diagnostics.
We also understand that surgery can produce anxiety, but rest assured that we take our patients’ comfort very seriously. Our anesthesiologists are specially trained for pediatrics, and our nurses focus on your child’s comfort before and after your surgery. Plus, 24 hours a day, our staff is supported by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago hospitalists—doctors who specialize in the unique needs of hospitalized pediatric patients.
As you schedule and prepare for your child’s surgery, your physician and nurse will supply you with specific, detailed information to help you prepare for the procedure. The following general information will help guide you, but please direct any specific questions to your physician.
Pre-Operative Instructions & Pre-Registration
One of our nurses will call you within one week of the scheduled surgery to obtain information about your child and give you pre-operative instructions, such as eating and drinking restrictions. At this time, the nurse will also ask you to pre-register to expedite the admission process on the day of surgery. We offer convenient pre-registration over the phone; just call 847.535.6853.
Day of Surgery
Remember to bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help ease your child’s anxiety. Please also bring a history and physical form if given to you by your pediatrician, any inhalers your child is currently using and any food or liquids your child may consume after surgery.
Arriving Early and Checking In
Plan to come to the hospital 1 hour 15 minutes before the scheduled surgical time. We ask you to allow extra time because there’s always a possibility that your child may go to the operating room earlier. Keep in mind that all scheduled surgery times are approximate times because the surgery before yours may take longer than anticipated, or there may be an emergency case added to the schedule.
Please park in the visitor’s parking lot in front of the Main Entrance. At check-in, you will be asked to sign registration and insurance forms, and you and your child will be escorted to the Pediatric Day Surgery unit. Your nurse will prepare your child for surgery and answer any questions you may have. Your nurse may also place an intravenous line at this time.
Managing Your Child’s Anxiety
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital understands a child’s fear of the unknown and the anxiety he or she may experience when separated from parents at the time of surgery. To help alleviate this anxiety, a few options are available. Your nurse will discuss them with you prior to the surgery date.
Communication during Surgery
We will keep you updated throughout your child’s surgery. We also have a computerized tracking board in the Surgical Waiting Room to keep friends and family informed.
To protect patient privacy, we can only give information to the immediate family. Please designate one family member to receive information, and let the waiting room volunteer know the name of this person. We will direct all calls or information to this family member, and they can relay information to the others as needed.
The day surgery waiting room includes complimentary coffee service, a children’s play area, a public phone, desks and free Wi-Fi for laptop use. In addition, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital offers:
- Cafeteria located on the ground floor
- Coffee Shop located on the 1st floor, near the Visitor’s Lobby
- Vending Area located on the ground floor next to Cafeteria
- Gift Shop located on the 1st floor near the Visitor’s Lobby
Visitors to the Pediatric Day Surgery unit must be free of any communicable illnesses. If your child happens to become ill within a few days of the scheduled surgery, please contact your physician.
Because of limited space, we can only allow two adult visitors (no siblings, please) in the patient’s room on the day of surgery.
Unfortunately, due to privacy and space, we do not allow visitors in the Recovery Room. However, a surgical waiting area is available.
After Surgery Recovery
The surgeon will let you know as soon as the surgery is completed. Following surgery, your child will be observed in our Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), also known as the Recovery Room. The nursing staff will be with your child as the anesthetic wears off to continually monitor pain, the surgical site and alertness.
You will be reunited with your child as soon as his or her condition permits. Following the appropriate recovery time, your child will be returned to the Pediatric Day Surgery unit to complete the recovery period, drink some fluids and either be discharged home or taken to an inpatient room if staying overnight. Anticipate 30 minutes to 3 hours for recovery time.
You will be given written instructions for your child’s care at home. These instructions include recommended activities and foods, as well as those to avoid. Your child’s physician may also provide a prescription.
Unless your child’s physician instructs you otherwise, your child may resume a normal diet following surgery. It is wise to increase your child’s fluid intake while they take pain medication to help avoid constipation. If your child experiences nausea or vomiting after being discharged, contact your child’s physician.
Contact Pediatric Day Surgery
Thank you for choosing Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital to provide surgical services for your child. We hope you are completely satisfied with the quality of our care and facilities, and we wish your child the very best of health in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pediatric Day Surgery at 847.535.6156. Voicemail is checked daily Monday through Friday.
For an urgent need, contact the Pediatric Inpatient Unit at 847.535.8168, 24 hours a day.
To pre-register for surgery by phone, call 847.535.6853.
Learn more about Pediatric Surgery