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Having Surgery at Children's
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Anesthesia: What To Expect
The Pre-Operative Care Clinic
What to Expect the Day of Surgery
After Surgery
Leaving the hospital and Follow Up
Frequently Asked Questions
Preparing for Your Outpatient Appointment
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Having Surgery at Children's

Scheduling the Operation


After the referral is received, please allow one business week for the surgical scheduling coordinator to contact you to set a date for surgery. If you are not contacted within one week, please call your surgeon’s office.

These steps must also be taken before a surgical date can be set:
  • If you are not the natural parents or legally adoptive parents, you must provide proof of legal guardianship to the surgical
  • Scheduling coordinator before surgery can be scheduled.
  • Any consultations or tests requested by your child’s surgeon, such as seeing a neurologist or having a CT scan, need to be completed and the results faxed to your surgeon’s surgical scheduling coordinator.
  • If you are and adult patient age 18 or older who has the ability to make and informed decision, you have the right to make your own medical treatment decisions.
  • Self-pay patients must make arrangements with Children’s Financial Information Center by calling (202) 476-5547.

Physical Exam
Your surgeon will let you know if you are required to obtain a history and physical exam by your primary care physician. If so, when the surgery date is set, schedule a pre-surgical physical to be completed approximately 7-14 days before surgery. Any lab work that may be necessary should be done at that time.

The day the physical is done, your primary care physician should fax the Outpatient History and Physical” form to your surgeon’s surgical scheduling coordinator. Call the surgical scheduling coordinator to confirm that the form has been received.

Important: you should keep the original and bring it with you on the day of surgery.

Lab Work
Your child’s surgeon may request certain lab tests be done. Results must be faxed to the surgical scheduling coordinator at least one week before the surgery. Tests may be done by:

  • The primary care physician at the time of the pre-operative physical
  • The Clinical Lab at Children’s National Medical Center (if your insurance allows)
  • An insurance-contracted lab

The Clinical Lab at Children’s National is open:
Monday-Friday, 7 am - 6 pm
Saturday-Sunday, 10 am - 2 pm
Call (202) 476-5354 to schedule an appointment.

Blood Donations and Transfusions
Children’s National offers a Directed Donor Program, which allows family members or friends to donate blood to be used during the patient’s hospital stay and/or for procedures. There is no evidence that blood from directed donors is safer than from regular volunteer donors, but this service is frequently requested by many parents and therefore we offer such a program.

The Blood Donor Center at Children’s National is open:
Monday - Friday, 7 am - 3:45 pm
Call (202) 476-KIDS to schedule an appointment.

Some patients may donate blood for themselves for elective surgeries through the Autologous Donation Program. Donation must be done at least one week before surgery. The child must be healthy, cooperative, not be anemic, and be at least 10 years old. Small children can’t be their own donors.

For more information about both kinds of blood donation, ask yourphysician and/or visit

Religious Considerations
Some families hold religious beliefs which preclude their acceptance of whole blood and, sometimes, other blood products. Children’s National is committed to the care of all its patients, regardless of their religious beliefs. If you have a religious objection to the use of blood transfusions for your child, please discuss this with your surgeon well in advance of surgery.

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