After surgery, there are several health-related items you should be prepared to encounter. These include:
- IVs. Your child may come back from surgery with one or more IVs. The IV stays in until your child is drinking without difficulty and there is no need for more medications.
- Vital signs and checks. The nursing staff closely monitors your child's vital signs and surgical site.
- Pain and medications. We are committed to making your child as comfortable as possible. Medications will help the pain, but may not take it away. If your child is over 5 years old, the nurse will ask about how much pain he or she has. Encourage your child to be honest about pain, and let the nurse know if you think that your child is uncomfortable or the medication is not helping.
- Fever. Children sometimes have a low-grade fever after surgery. This usually goes away. Things that may help bring down a fever include drinking fluids, doing deep breathing, coughing to clear the lungs and certain medications.
- Behavior change. Your child may have increased irritability, outbursts, or other negative behaviors that are unusual for your child. You may even see regression to thumb-sucking, whining or bed-wetting. These are typical reactions to anesthesia. Anesthesia takes time to wear off and often children are sleepy most of the day.
- Eating after surgery. The stomach and bowels are slow to "wake up" after surgery. This can cause some children to feel nauseated or vomit. This usually lasts for a short time and can be helped with medication. Once your child feels like eating, your nurse will start by offering liquids, then slowly progress your child to a normal diet.
Home Meal Suggestions
When you go home, start with simple foods. We recommend a low-fat, easily digested meal when you get home. These will help decrease the chance of any nausea or vomiting.
- Broth-based soups (not cream-based)
- Non-carbonated beverages such as water and juice
- Oatmeal/Cream of Wheat®