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Having Surgery at Children's

The Pre-Operative Care Clinic


The Pre-Operative Care Clinic (POCC) is a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who specialize in preparing patients for surgery. POCC evaluates patients on an individual basis to design a specific care plan for each child having surgery.

You will receive a call 3 days prior to surgery to discuss your child’s health, your concerns, and to answer any questions you might have. It is important that we know your child’s health history to help identify potential risks before your child’s anesthesia and surgery.

What we will need to know
  • All prescription and non-prescription medicines your child is taking. If your child takes medication every day, you will be told which medicine should be given before surgery.
  • If your child has a history of heart or lung problems, your child’s cardiologist or pulmonologist may be asked to give medical recommendations and clearance before surgery and anesthesia.

There are other issues which may or may not apply to your child. It’s a good idea to think about these ahead of time so you are prepared for the pre-operative interview. Does your child have:


  • Allergies to medicine, food or latex
  • Reactions to anesthesia or to a blood transfusion
  • A history of motion sickness or nausea after anesthesia or medication
  • Updated immunizations
  • Previous illnesses or operations
  • Previous hospital stays (admissions), tests, or treatments
  • Anything that might put my child at risk during the hospital visit

Two Business Days Before Surgery
Surgical Preparation nurse will call you before surgery between the hours of noon and 9:30 pm to finalize the time of your child’s surgery and the time you need to arrive to surgery registration (2nd floor). If you do not receive this phone call by 6 pm, or are away from your phone, please call (202) 476-3370 by 10 am the business day prior to surgery.

Time for Surgery
You may be wondering, “Why do I have to wait until the night before surgery to find out the exact time for my child’s surgery?"  You can be given a tentative time for your child’s surgery, but the time often changes because of emergency surgical cases. While we know it is
frustrating, the exact time for surgery cannot be given until the evening before. Generally, we make every effort to schedule infants and toddlers in the morning..

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