Skip to main content

Preparing for Surgery & Procedures

Your Visit

We understand your child’s surgery or procedure is a stressful event and can be overwhelming. Our experienced surgeons, nurses and staff will support you and your child through every step.

As a parent, you play a very important role in preparing your child for what to expect. If your child is well prepared, your entire experience will be better.

General Information

Your child may bring a few favorite items to the hospital to help him or her feel more comfortable - a toy, stuffed animal or blanket, for example. Your child can take one item into the operating room.

One parent can spend the night at the bedside.

The Emily Center is a family resource library that has additional information about your child's surgery.

Contact the Surgery or Radiology Department for the following:

  • If your child becomes sick or develops a cough, runny nose or fever
  • If your child takes medication daily
  • To know what time your child will need to stop eating and drinking before the surgery/procedure.
Back to top

Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for Surgery, Tests and Procedures

  • Talk honestly with your child about the surgery, using simple words that can be easily understood.
  • Read a book with your child about going to the hospital.
  • Ask your doctor questions.
  • Attend a Surgery Preparation Program tour
  • Watch the General Surgery Video Tour.
Back to top

Questions Children Ask About Their Hospitalization

Can my mom or dad stay with me?

Yes! One parent can spend the night in the hospital room. There is a shower and laundry facility for them to use while they are here.

How long will I be in the hospital?

This depends on what kind of operation you are having. You will go home as soon as you are well. The doctors and nurses will do everything they can to help you feel better as soon as possible.

What will happen while I am in the hospital?

The doctors and nurses will help you feel better. You may get medicine, have special tests, or take special pictures of your body.

What will I do when I am there?

Phoenix Children's has a lot for you to do. There are toys, movies, video games, TVs, playrooms, the Child Life Zone and school.

What if it hurts?

It is very important to tell your parents or your nurse if you hurt. It is okay to cry if something hurts or frightens you.

Will I feel anything during my operation? 

The doctor will give you special sleepy medicine to help you sleep and not feel anything during the operation.

Back to top


The following is a list of important numbers to call for more information about Phoenix Children's Hospital and how we can help:

Questions About Surgery

Schedule a Surgery Pre-Admission Tour


Child Life

Radiology Department

The Emily Center

Back to top

Additional Resources

Back to top
Share this page