Following surgery your child may need to stay in the hospital for a period of time depending on the type of surgery performed, the kind of anesthesia administered and your child’s condition. You will be informed as to what to expect. Your child will be carefully monitored by our expert team and will receive the care needed until he or she can safely go home.
You will receive general as well as specific postoperative instructions, depending on the procedure performed. Following these instructions carefully will help your child recover well and reduce the risk of complications.
Once home, your child is advised bed rest for the remainder of the day. He or she may feel nauseated from the anesthesia and pain medications. Regarding diet, you should start with clear liquids and gradually introduce light food. Ensure that your child receives plenty of fluids, as certain pain medications have a constipating effect.
The surgical site must remain clean and dry to prevent infection. The dressing can be gently removed after 48 hours, taking care not to interfere with or remove any sutures or Steri-Strips covering the wound. You may gently wash the incision without scrubbing and place a fresh gauze dressing covered with an Ace wrap or adhesive bandage. The bandage should be changed once a day. Contact us if your child develops a fever or if you notice any excessive redness, swelling or warmth at the incision site, as these are signs of infection.
You will receive medication for pain and will be instructed to ice and elevate the operated area to reduce swelling. Icing may be performed for 20 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Your doctor may prescribe a strong pain medication for the first few days. Children who are not able to swallow pills will be prescribed pain medication in a liquid form or a suspension.
Activity Limitation and Mobility
Depending on the procedure, your doctor may advise certain activity and weight-bearing limitations. Your child may need to use crutches or a cane to get around. A brace may be placed for support. You will be advised on how and when to increase your child’s activity level.
A physical therapy program or certain at-home exercises may be recommended to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility, in order to get your child ready for school and other activities.
It is important to follow up with your doctor as instructed. The first post-op visit is generally a week after your child is discharged. Your doctor will check the surgical site, remove any sutures, and see how well your child is progressing. If a cast or splint was placed, it will be removed when your doctor feels the area has sufficiently healed. You will be informed regarding further visits for follow-up.