Pre and Post Operative Care
How do my child and I prepare for the procedure?
We encourage good communication between you and your child, including the necessity and overview of the procedure as well as ensuring them that you are close by the whole time. Holding them or their hands until they leave for the procedure is a great way to provide support.
You will be given specific instructions along the way but you may need to arrive a few hours before the scheduled procedure to have some blood tests done. When you arrive at the hospital, a doctor will review the procedure and associated risks, after which you will sign a consent form. When we are ready to get started with the procedure, a nurse will place an intravenous line to deliver sedating medications and you will be allowed to accompany your child in the operating room until they are asleep, after which you will be escorted to a waiting room.
What happens after the procedure?
Most children are hospitalized for two to three days to minimize the risk of complications. Your child will receive IV antibiotics while in the hospital, and we will give you a prescription for oral antibiotics at discharge. Your child will be allowed to move around as tolerated. The catheter insertion site may be tender for several days.
When may my child eat normally after the procedure?
A clear-liquid diet must be continued until normal bowel function returns, which may take several days.
What kind of enemas will my child be receiving and when can I start administrating them?
Your child’s doctor will talk about the proper bowel-cleansing regimen with you based on your child’s unique needs. Usually you can start administering enemas through the tube after approximately one week.
When can my child bathe?
You can allow your child to sponge bathe for the first 48 hours after the procedure. It is important to avoid full submersion in water for two weeks after the procedure to allow for healing around the tube insertion site.
Are there any activity restrictions?
Though your child can resume normal school-going or daycare attendance, physical activity that can result in pulling of the tube should be limited, particularly contact sports and rough playing.
Does the tube need to be changed and how long will the tube stay in place?
Yes. The tube will be removed two months after it is placed. It will be replaced with a low-profile tube, which sits on the surface of the skin. Routine changes of this tube will be performed once or twice a year. The total duration of tube placement will be determined by the physician caring for your child’s underlying disease but the primary tube will be exchanged at scheduled follow-ups. Specific concerns regarding clogging of the tube or the tube falling out will be addressed in your training prior to the procedure. These are not emergencies and can most often be handled by simple water flushing of the tube through a syringe or slightly pushing the tube back into place and securing it with tape while not feeding through it. It is important to call our department soon after these occurrences.
CONTACT CNMC IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR CHILD EXPERIENCES ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
• Redness, pain, swelling, or bruising at the needle insertion site.
• Fever higher than 101o Fahrenheit or 38o Celsius.
The department of Interventional Radiology can be reached at: 202-476-3791, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
At all other times please call 202-259-8643, which is the on-call pager. Follow the instructions and wait for a call back.