What to Expect from Pediatric Surgery

When your child needs surgery, it’s reassuring to know what to expect. We explain your child’s procedure and answer your family’s questions in detail, so you and your child feel prepared and comfortable. Download our Preparing for Your Child's Surgery guide for helpful information on what to expect.

To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric general surgeons, call:


Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital practices a patient- and family-centered care approach to healthcare. We believe that you, your child and our team are true partners, working together to best meet your child’s needs. Our committed specialists treat you and your loved ones with compassion and respect, listening and promptly responding to your concerns.

What Will My Child’s Surgery Experience Be Like?

When you choose our pediatric surgery team, we’re with you every step of the way. Every procedure is different, but here are some general ideas of what to expect in a nonemergency situation:


We consult with your family to make or confirm a diagnosis of your child’s health problem. We discuss your child’s needs and what’s important to your family. We also explain treatment options, working with you to determine the best plan for your child.


When you’re ready to move forward, you receive a surgery date and an information packet to read at home. We sit down with you to answer any remaining questions and sign paperwork. And we continue to be available if you have any questions or concerns before the operation.

The Night Before Surgery

We call you to confirm when to arrive the next day and where to check in. We’ll also share final preoperative instructions for your child, such as information about eating, drinking, and what to wear.

The Day of Surgery

After checking in, we introduce you to the nursing staff and board-certified anesthesiologist who will help during your child’s surgery. The surgeon also reviews the procedure with your family.

During Surgery

You and your loved ones can rest in our comfortable waiting area. We provide regular updates about the progress of your child’s surgery.

After Surgery

As your child is waking up, we can accommodate two people at the bedside. Our rooms are designed to be comfortable for families, with features such as pullout couches.

Staying In the Hospital

Whether kids are going home the same day or staying with us awhile, we want them to feel comfortable. Our Child Life Program offers fun, supportive activities, from clown therapy and service dogs to play areas and “teddy bear tours.” We also employ a dedicated teacher to help your child stay on pace with schoolwork.

Recharging as a Family

If your child is receiving treatment for a while, your family might need a place nearby to rest and recharge.

Our on-site Conine Clubhouse offers families a comfortable environment with home-like amenities such as laundry facilities, all free of charge.

Conine Clubhouse


Going Home

We share next steps for recovery before you leave, and we remain available if you have questions once you get home. We also arrange a follow-up appointment to ensure your child is recovering well.

Is Surgery Safe?

Surgery is a major decision for your family, and you need a highly skilled and trustworthy medical team. We perform thousands of routine and complex pediatric surgeries every year, and we regularly publish data about those procedures. Review our quality and safety data.

What Will Surgery Cost?

You have a right to know what your child’s surgery will cost so you can make an informed decision. We’re committed to transparent pricing. You can view self-pay and insured pricing data for common procedures. 

To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric general surgeons, call:

Cardiac patient Deacon surrounded by his family, Svetlana Shugh, MD and Maryanne Chrisant, MD

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