You’re getting ready to have an operation.

An operation is also called “surgery,” and it’s a way for doctors to look at or help a part of your body.

Let’s learn about what will happen when you go to Dell Children’s Medical Center for your operation.


Welcome to Dell Children'sWelcome to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas! When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll come in through the main entrance and take the elevator on the right to the 2nd floor surgery waiting room.

*Remember to pack a bag with some favorite toys, a stuffed animal or a blanket!


Check In

Check InFirst, check in at the registration desk and then have a seat.

While you’re waiting, you can play with the toys you brought or read a book.






MeasurementsWhen it’s your turn, the nurse will call your name. Your family can come, too. The nurse will measure how tall you are and how much you weigh.






Checking Your Body

Checking your bodyIn the exam room, the nurse will check your body with things like a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter and a stethoscope.

  • A thermometer measures how warm your body is. The thermometer will swipe across your forehead and cheek.
  • A blood pressure cuff wraps around your upper arm. It gives a squeeze or hug and then lets go. It measures how fast or slow your blood is moving in your body.
  • A pulse oximeter is a sticker with a red light that goes on your finger. It measures how much air or oxygen is in your blood.
  • A stethoscope is used to listen to your breathing and heartbeat.

Hospital Clothes (Pajamas!)

Hospital ClothesYou’ll change into hospital clothes. Some kids say they look like pajamas. The nurse will give you a bracelet to wear with your name on it. It will match the bracelet that your parent or other family member received at the registration desk.

Doctors and nurses will come in to talk to your family. They ask questions like: “When was the last time you had something to eat and drink?”

*It is very important not to eat or drink before surgery.

See You Soon

See You SoonWhen it’s time for your surgery. you can say “See you soon!” to your family. Your family will wait in the waiting room and you’ll go to the operating room with the nurses and doctors.

*You can take your stuffed animal or blanket with you to the operating room.



Operating Room

Operating RoomThis is the operating room. There’s a bed for you, a machine that makes anesthesia (sleepy medicine), round lights on the ceiling, and other equipment the doctors and nurses might use.




Hats and Masks

Hats and MasksIn the operating room, doctors and nurses wear a hat and a mask to keep the room very clean. They wear hospital clothes, too.

These are the same doctors and nurses you and your family met in the exam room.



Sleepy Medicine

Sleepy MedicineIn the operating room, your job will be to breathe the anesthesia (sleepy medicine) through a mask. You can choose a flavor for your mask so that the sleepy medicine smells good. Some of the flavors are bubble gum, strawberry, root beer and orange. Which flavor do you think you will choose?

During your surgery, the medicine will keep you in a deep sleep. This is not the same as when you sleep at home – it means that you won’t see, hear or feel anything during your surgery.

After Surgery

After SurgeryAfter your surgery, the doctor will stop giving you the sleepy medicine and you will slowly wake up.

You’ll wake up in the recovery room. The nurse will take care of you. There may be other boys and girls waking up in here, too.

The blue tube blows cool, wet air near your face to help you wake up.


Your IV

Your IVYou might see some tape and clear tubing on your hand or arm. This is called an IV. The nurse can use the IV to give your body medicine or a drink of water. The nurse will take the tube out before you leave the hospital.




Waking Up

Waking UpOnce you wake up, you might have a popsicle or a drink. Two adult family members can be with you.






Going Home or Staying the Night?

Going Home or Staying the Night
Are you going home after surgery or staying the night?

Going Home Staying the Night





Going Home Today

Going Home or Staying the NightYou’ll go to an exam room so the nurse can take care of you until it’s time for you to go home. Before you leave, the nurse will take out the IV. Most children say they feel the tape coming off, but not the tube coming out.

Now it's time to go home!


Staying the Night

Staying the NightYou’ll spend the night in a room like this. There’s a bed for you, a sofa bed for your parent or other family member and a bathroom.

There is a television, DVD player, and a phone. You can bring your favorite movies from home or check some out from the family library.




PICUSome patients go directly to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) after their surgery. The nurses and doctors here are trained to help kids who need extra care or special equipment.

This room is similar to the other hospital rooms. There is a bed for you, and a sofa bed for your parent or other family member. There is a television, DVD player and a phone. You can bring your favorite movies from home or check some out from the family library.

There is a pole with small machines for giving medicine. On the top of the pole is a computer screen. It helps the nurse take care of you by showing her your blood pressure, heartbeat and oxygen level.


PlayroomYou can bring toys and games from home, but the hospital also has activity rooms on every floor.





Now you’re all better and it’s time for you to go home!

Thanks for having your surgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. More resources available in Preparing Your Child for Surgery.

  • If you would like further information about talking with your child about surgery, please call (512) 324-0000 ext. 86302 to speak with a Surgery Child Life Specialist.
  • For specific questions about your child’s surgical procedure, call your doctor’s office.
  • For questions about the actual day of surgery, please call (512) 324-0124.