We strongly believe that pediatric surgical patients and their families benefit greatly by a family-centered and "kid-friendly" surgical experience. Along with our colleagues in Pediatric Anesthesia and the specially trained surgery teams of the North Carolina Children's Hospital, we are dedicated to minimizing the stresses of that experience from the moment the child arrives until they leave the hospital. Common questions that children and their parents may have about their surgery are also addressed in the commonly asked questions section of this website.
An essential part of the preparation for surgery is a "pre-care" visit with the anesthesiologists and the pre-op team. This visit can often be done on the same day you meet the surgeon or it can be scheduled for your convenience. Although, blood tests are very rarely needed before most pediatric surgeries, they can be done at the pre-care visit if necessary.
Many surgeries on children, such as hernias, lump and cyst removals, undescended testes, etc. can be safely done as "same-day" ("ambulatory" or "outpatient") operations. The pre-care and post-operative protocols have been streamlined to make the visit, surgery and hospital stay as brief and as atraumatic as possible. Throughout this process, the safety of the child remains our first priority.
The values to which the Carolina Center for Special Surgery for Children subscribes is listed in our mission statement. The specific features we wish to emphasize include:
- A team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other health professionals specifically trained in and dedicated to the surgical care of children.
- A multi-disciplinary team of health professionals committed to the comprehensive care of children.
- The North Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill and pediatric-specific facilities at WakeMed and Rex Hospital for the exclusive care of pediatric surgical patients, including pre-op areas, operating rooms, recovery areas and surgical wards.
- 24 hour parent visiting and rooming-in. In-hospital schools, play areas and recreational therapy.
- Nearby Ronald McDonald House facilities.
- Support groups and pastoral care for parents, siblings and classmates.
- Dedicated nurse clinicians who are skilled at patient advocacy and can guide families through both simple and complex surgical experiences.
Our teams are available at all times to answer questions or concerns either by phone or in-person. Pre-operative visits to familiarize families with the surgical areas, the intensive care units and the staff can be arranged.