How do I prepare my child for surgery?

Here are some ways to emotionally prepare your child for a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy:

  • Talk to your child about his or her feelings and provide strong reassurance and support throughout the process.
  • Encourage the idea that the procedure will make him or her healthier.
  • Be with your child as much as possible before and after the surgery.
  • Tell him or her to expect a sore throat after surgery.
  • Reassure your child that the operation does not remove any important parts of the body, and that he or she will not look any different afterward.
  • If your child has a friend who has had this surgery, it may be helpful to talk about it with that friend.

For at least two weeks before the surgery, the child cannot take aspirin or other medications containing aspirin. Children should¬†never¬†be given aspirin because of the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.

If the child is taking any other medications, has sickle cell anemia, has a bleeding disorder, is pregnant, has concerns about the transfusion of blood, or has used steroids in the past year, inform the surgeon before surgery.

If the child is otherwise healthy and bleeding history is normal, we do not need to draw blood for labs before the surgery.

After midnight prior to the operation, nothing (chewing gum, mouthwashes, throat lozenges, toothpaste, water) may be taken by mouth. Anything in the stomach may be vomited when anesthesia is induced, and this is dangerous.

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