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Pediatric Surgery

Pediatric Surgery Options that Aren’t One Size Fits All

When your child needs surgery, our health system provides dedicated, specially trained and compassionate surgery teams ready to provide the best possible care. Your child is in the best hands whether it is a planned surgery or an unexpected procedure.

A Comforting Experience for Families

Our goal is for families to be as involved as they can be in their child’s care. At Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital, we offer accommodations for parents/guardians to stay with their child, from private rooms with bedside sleepers to bathrooms in each room, breastmilk pumps for every bedside, and complimentary meals for each child’s caregiver or breastfeeding mother.

Pediatric playrooms and waiting areas, complete with games and activities, provide an area for much-needed play time when children are able to move around. Our family lounges provide an area of comfort and relaxation for family members, equipped with refrigerators and microwaves, allowing families to step away to eat or find comfort and support. Our hospitals have dedicated areas of respite, reflection and quiet throughout the campuses as well.

How to Prepare Your Child for Surgery

  • Prepare Yourself First

    Ask your child's doctor or nurse about any questions or concerns you may have so you will feel comfortable preparing your child. Children can sense their parents' emotions, and if they feel that you are worried, they too may become anxious or worried.

    Be honest. Using language your child can understand, explain why they will be coming to the hospital. Remind your child that they did not cause their illness/injury, and this is not a punishment.

  • For Toddlers (1-2)

    Talk with your toddler one day before surgery, using simple language, let them know surgery is going to make something better or fix something.

  • For Preschoolers (3-5)

    Talk with preschoolers 2-3 days before surgery so they have time to ask questions. Focus on the senses: what will your child see, hear, feel, smell and taste before and after surgery. Discuss what is going to be “fixed” and that they will go to sleep with special “sleepy air” so they won't feel anything. Choose your words wisely, you may say: bed on wheels instead of stretcher, sleepy air instead of anesthesia, or make a small opening rather than cut open, etc. Children at this age may think they have caused this to happen and may believe that surgery is a punishment; reinforce to your child that they have not done anything to cause the illness or injury.

  • For Adolescents

    Talk to your teen when the surgery is scheduled and discuss why the surgery is needed and what is going to happen. Allow teens to be active participants in their care so they can maintain a sense of independence.

  • Resources and Answering Questions

    There are many children's books you may find at your local library about coming to the hospital that you and your child may read together to help prepare for the experience. Encourage your child to ask questions, answer them honestly and if you are not sure of the answer, tell your child you do not know but you will find out with the help of their doctor.

  • Arriving at the Hospital

    Remember to give your child appropriate choices, such as what to wear to the hospital, which stuffed animal, blanket, favorite toy or activity to bring. Don't forget, your child should not have anything to eat or drink after a certain time the night before surgery, as instructed by your child's doctor. However, you may want to bring an empty bottle or sippy cup for your child to use AFTER surgery. Please store it somewhere that your child will not see it or find it, as children are typically easily distracted when they are reminded of eating/drinking, and as a result could become very upset.

  • Resources at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

    If your child is feeling especially anxious about coming to the hospital you may contact the Child Life team for additional tips, resources or to schedule a tour. Child Life Specialists are members of the healthcare team devoted to helping children and families cope with the hospital experience through teaching and preparation, medical play, therapeutic activities and developmental play.

Children and Fear of Doctors: How You Can Help

For many children, the prospect of seeing a doctor is a cause for concern. This fear of doctors is common and can stem from a variety of factors, from worries about shots to fear that a medical exam might reveal scary news about a child’s health. If your child is nervous about seeing the doctor, it’s important to take their feelings seriously.

Pre-surgery Checklist for Parents

Making sure you have everything ready to go can help make the surgery experience easier for you and your child! Check out our handy guide below for any questions you may have.

Our Innovative Robotic Surgery Services

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health was one of the first in Louisiana to offer pediatric robotic surgery at our Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge and Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Lafayette. Robotic surgery is an advanced form of minimally invasive surgery where surgeons use a computer-controlled robot to assist them in certain surgical procedures. It allows our surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Best of all, patients experience less pain and recovery time after surgery.

Our Pediatric Surgery Locations

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