Preparing for Surgery

At Boston Children's Hospital, our caring, compassionate and kid-friendly surgical team includes expert pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and assistive personnel, who are all extensively trained and experienced in pediatric surgical care.

All about day surgery

Day surgery is when your child is having a minor surgical procedure (like having tonsils out) that doesn’t usually require an overnight stay at the hospital. If your child is scheduled for day surgery, he or she will most likely go home the same day.

  • A nurse will call you the day before surgery to obtain a health history and to answer any questions you might have.

  • On the day of surgery, please arrive at the hospital at least 90 minutes before the scheduled surgery time.

  • Your child may need to stay overnight in the Recovery Room (Post-Anesthetic Care Unit or PACU) for observation, but this is not considered an inpatient stay since he or she will be at the hospital for less than 24 hours.

Learn more about day surgery.

All about inpatient surgery

An inpatient surgery is when your child stays in the hospital for at least one night after her surgery. If your child is having an inpatient surgery, he or she will be scheduled for a Preoperative Clinic visit before the day of surgery. During the Pre-Op visit, you and your child will receive a pre-anesthetic evaluation and information about what to expect before and after the surgery. On the day of surgery, you will need to arrive at the Admitting Office 90 minutes before the scheduled surgery time.

If your child is staying overnight at the hospital before surgery, an Admitting Office staff member will call you to arrange an arrival time. When you arrive at Children's, you will need to register in the Admitting Office. A staff member will direct you to the floor where your child will be staying after her surgery. While in the hospital, you and your child will be told about the surgery and given an anesthesiology consultation.

Learn more about inpatient surgery and our Preoperative Clinic.