When Your Child Needs Surgery

At Bridgeport Hospital SurgEase, we know that children have unique needs when coming to the hospital. Staff members, parents and caregivers work together as a team to make your child’s SurgEase experience as comfortable and stress free as possible. Please read the following information carefully so that your family can be fully prepared for your child’s surgical experience. 

Child Life Services at SurgEase

When your child arrives at SurgEase, our certified Child Life specialist will meet with your child and can assist by:

  • Talking with your child about his or her procedure using developmentally appropriate language
  • Answering any questions the child may have about the procedure
  • Supporting families throughout the child's procedure
  • Arranging pre-operative tours on an as-needed basis
  • Adjusting pre-operative child life programming to meet the needs of patients with special needs

Learn more about Child Life services at SurgEase.

Your Child’s SurgEase Visit

Prior to the Day of the Procedure

  • Your child's physician will let you know what time to arrive at Bridgeport Hospital. Please arrive on time.
  • Your child’s doctor will give the pre-operative instructions your child needs to follow.
  • If your child has a cold or fever, or any signs of an infection within one week of surgery, let your child’s doctor know.
  • Talk to your child about the hospital and the procedure in simple, child friendly terms. Allow your child to ask questions and voice his or her concerns. Answer honestly using age-appropriate terminology. Remember, the actual facts may be less scary than what your child might imagine. 
  • Arrange child care for siblings for the entire day in the event that your child may need to stay longer than expected.

Fasting Guidelines

Children - All solid food, formula and non-human (cow’s) milk must be stopped at least six hours before appointment time. Your child may have clear liquids (water, Pedialyte®, non-pulp juices, soda, clear broth, tea) up until two hours before appointment time.

Infants - Formula should be stopped six hours before surgery. Breast milk must be stopped at least four hours before surgery. Infants may be fed clear liquids (water, Pedialyte®, etc.) up until two hours before surgery.

All medications except insulin and diuretics may be taken (unless otherwise told by your anesthesiologist).

Day of the Procedure

  • Bring your child’s insurance card to the hospital.
  • Please bring a list of your child’s medications to the hospital. Include the name of each medication, dosage, the reason for the medication and the date and time of your child’s last dose.
  • On average, expect to spend from three to five hours total in SurgEase.
  • Dress your child in comfortable, loose clothing and flat shoes. Please, no makeup or jewelry.
  • If your child wears contact lenses, bring the case so your child can remove them before surgery. Bring eyeglasses or hearing aid if your child will need them.
  • Have your child bring a familiar comfort item with them to the hospital.
  • Your doctor may advise you/your child to bring supplies (i.e. crutches or other assistive devices) with you to the hospital to use after the procedure. Check with your child’s doctor about making arrangements for any supplies you may need following your child's procedure.

During the Procedure

  • You may stay with your child throughout the pre-operative process.
  • Parents/caregivers must stay in SurgEase during your child’s procedure.
  • Updates on your child's progress are available through the Family Touch program at Bridgeport Hospital. Ask about Family Touch at check-in.
  • Nursing mothers are welcome to bring a breast pump to express milk in a private area during your child’s procedure. Please ask your admitting nurse for assistance.

After the Procedure

  • After your child has been moved to the recovery room, you may be notified by Family Touch or by a staff member who will escort you to the recovery room so that you will be with your child when he or she wakes up.
  • Your child will stay in the recovery area for around one hour. Sometimes children need a little more or a little less time to recover from anesthesia.
  • Before you go home, your nurse will ensure that you have discharge instructions from your doctor.

If your child cannot make the appointment, please call us at 203-384-3814 or 203-384-3782, 6:30 am - 7 pm, Monday-Friday.