Mid Coast Hospital
Mother by daughter tucked in bed

Pediatric Surgery

The entire team at Mid Coast Hospital is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children through excellence in patient care and teaching. That's why we have surgeons who are specially trained in pediatric surgery procedures.

Patient Information & Resources

Our family-centered team will help make you and your child comfortable and confident as we guide you through the pediatric surgery process from pre-op to post-op and home care. Please review the following information at least 2 days before your child's surgery. Call 207-373-1707 with any questions or concerns.

Medicines and Supplements to Avoid

  • Avoid aspirin, NSAIDS and Ibuprofen products for 7-10 days before surgery. This includes but is not limited to Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Pediaprofen and Pepto-Bismol.
  • Avoid multivitamins, Vitamin E products and herbal products for 10 days pre-op.
  • Daily medications should be given and will be reviewed by your surgeon and the pre-admission nurse.

Call your surgeon if your child has a fever or flu-like symptoms occurring the week prior to surgery, or if your child has been exposed to anything contagious up to 3 weeks before surgery, e.g., chicken pox, impetigo, or lice.

Food and Drink

On the day of surgery, your child should not have anything to eat after midnight. This includes gum or hard candy. Clear fluids are allowed up to 2 hours before you child’s admission time, and include drinks like apple juice, water, Pedialyte, or Gatorade. If your child does eat food during this time, it will cause a delay in his/her surgery time and compromise his/her safety. To ensure you child’s safety in regards to anesthesia, it is important to follow these instructions.

Going to the Hospital

You may give your child a shower or bath the day before or day of surgery. Do not use any lotions, powders, hair gel or hair spray. Be sure hair is completely dry and free of gels or hairspray before going to the hospital.

Remove any jewelry, piercings, cosmetics or nail polish. This is all necessary to ensure the safest environment possible for your child. Please adhere to these guidelines.

Many children prefer their own pajamas or clothing. It is best to have your child wear loose fitting 2 piece clothing without “feet” attached. Avoid metal snaps, zippers or anything constricting. Pajamas may be worn. Older children and teens may wear loose fitting sweatpants, lounge pants or pajamas. Hospital gowns are also available for children to wear.

Security blankets, stuffed toys, or favorite small (non-electric) toys can accompany your child into the operating room. We want your child to feel comforted and as secure as possible.

For infants and babies, bring your child’s preferred formula and baby food for post-procedure. It is recommended to have at least 2 servings – children are often very hungry after not eating for several hours pre-procedure. There is no baby food or formula available on the ambulatory care unit because there are now so many different varieties – it is best to serve your baby what he or she likes best.

Finally, please make alternate child care plans for your other children for the day of surgery. The child who is having surgery will require your full attention, rooms have limited space and there are several areas where young children are not allowed for safety reasons. It is also in the best interest of your child and our patients to limit exposure to illnesses as much as possible.

Arrival at the Hospital

Please arrive punctually at the time your pre-op nurse has scheduled for your arrival. The admitting nurse will have information to review and paperwork to complete. She will also do a short physical assessment, assess vital signs and ask some additional questions. A member of the operating room nursing team will come to meet you and your child so you will both know some of the people who will be caring for your child when in the OR.

One parent should remain with the child having surgery at all times except when the child is in the operating room.

  • Avoid planning any other activities for the day of your child’s surgery.
  • Please have childcare for any other children. Your child having surgery will require your full attention while at the hospital.
  • Nursing staff will check your child’s height and weight and vital signs on arrival. They will also review your pre-op information and consents.
  • An anesthesiologist will speak to you and review your child’s health history and answer any questions or concerns.
  • Many steps are taken to ensure safety. Expect to verify your child’s identification by name, birth date, the surgery he/she is having, and the part of the body the surgery will be done on. Depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon may mark his initials on the site with a special marking pen. This safety check will occur a few times during the admitting process and again in the operating room by the surgical team.

After Surgery

After surgery, your child will go to the recovery room until the anesthesia starts to wear off and he/she just starts to wake up. You will be called to the recovery room during this phase. It is best to wait in your child’s admitting room so we know where to find you. If you need to step out, let your admitting nurse know how to locate you. Time in the recovery room varies with the procedure/type of surgery and the child.

Upon return to the admitting room your child’s vital signs will be monitored, pain level will be assessed, medications provided and fluids encouraged. Your child will be more tired than he/she usually is on the surgery day and can be expected to sleep on and off throughout the day.

For All Surgeries

  • Encourage your child to drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Fluids should be offered every 1-2 hours while awake. The first meal should be light; avoid fast foods.
  • Rest and quiet play are encouraged for the first few days. Watch a movie, read, or play a board game.
  • Avoid riding or motion toys, or anything requiring coordination the first 24 hours due to your child having had anesthesia medications which are still continuing to wear off.
  • Expect your child to nap or tire easily the first few days. Night time restlessness is common.
  • Call your surgeon if your child has a persistent severe headache; fever over 101.5 degrees; persistent vomiting over 12 hours; or increased pain or foul smelling drainage
  • Do not use additional Tylenol/Acetaminophen with pain meds containing acetaminophen.

A surgical services nurse will call you the day after your child’s surgery to answer any questions you may have and to check on your child’s recovery progress.

For Tonsil Surgeries

  • Avoid “scratchy” or spicy foods and citrus drinks to prevent pain or irritation. Start diet with soft foods. Foods should not be served hot; allow them to cool to room temperature.
  • Report any signs or symptoms of bleeding to your surgeon. If bleeding should occur, have your child swish and swallow ice water. Apply an ice collar to the neck area and call your child's surgeon immediately.
  • Avoid red-colored popsicles the first few days so as not confuse fluids with bleeding.
  • Cold fluids and popsicles are soothing for throat pain. Some children like an ice pack placed over the neck area. If age-appropriate, chewing gum also helps decrease pain by helping keep the throat lubricated.
  • Avoid using Ibuprofen and Aspirin products as these can increase the risk of post-op bleeding.
  • Avoid using straws to drink until the throat is completely healed since this may also increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Avoid strenuous activity (such as running, dance, sports) for 2 weeks post-op to decrease the risk of bleeding. Pain may increase at around post-op day 5, when scabs in the throat begin to separate. There is also a risk of bleeding at this time.
  • The surgeon will let you know when your child can return to school and activities.
  • Halitosis (bad breath), low grade fever (99-101), and mild ear and throat pain are all normal post-op symptoms.

For Ear Surgeries

  • With all ear surgeries, keep ears clean and dry. Do not insert anything into ears. Clean only the outer part of the ear.

Please select the health history form that matches your child's age. Then, please review, print and complete the form prior to your child's arrival at Mid Coast Hospital. You may fax completed forms to 207-373-6133 prior to your phone interview with the pre-op nurse. You may also drop off forms at the surgical services desk before your child's surgery.

Contact Us

For more information, please call 207-373-1707 to speak with our surgical services team.

Surgery at MaineHealth

Learn more about surgical care at MaineHealth.