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If your child requires emergency surgery, there is limited time to prepare yourself and your child. The news can be a total surprise and the urgent nature of the procedure can be very frightening. The most important thing parents can do is to remain calm, reassure their child, and ask as many questions as necessary to understand the situation.
For elective or required surgeries, it is valuable to prepare yourself before meeting with your child's surgeon. There are several things you should bring with you to enable the surgeon to develop a complete picture of the problem/condition, including the following:
The surgeon will review the tests already performed, your child's medical history, and the medications your child is currently taking. A complete physical examination will then be performed to assess your child's current health status. If more tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis, the surgeon will discuss them with you at this time. Your child's physician will expect you to ask questions, and it will be very helpful if you write them down in advance, so you can ask everything you want to know. The following is a list of commonly asked questions when preparing your child for surgery:
After your questions have been answered, your child's surgery can be scheduled (considering the urgency of the surgery, your child's condition, and the surgeon's availability). The surgeon's office and the hospital admitting office will assist in getting pre-approval from your insurance company before the day of surgery.
If additional questions should arise before your child's scheduled surgery, call your child's surgeon. Your confidence in knowing what will happen before, during, and after surgery will help you in preparing your child.
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