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Surgery: 10 Things to Know

When your child is having surgery it can feel very overwhelming. Parents on the Surgery Family Advisory Council have all walked in your shoes and they've learned a few along the way. Here are some of the tips and resources they've prepared to help make your experience a little less stressful.

Download 10 Things to Know (PDF)

You can schedule a surgical tour.
To help prepare your child, you can schedule a tour prior to your child's surgery. To schedule a tour, call 682-885-7200

The surgical staff will ask lots of questions—many times.
The surgical staff will ask you several times about your child's surgical procedure, history and medications. This is done so the staff feels confident that the parents have a good understanding of the surgery being performed and that all members of the team agree. Also, many checks are in place to ensure nothing in the child's history or medication list have been missed or left out.

Surgery will probably take a little longer
Your surgeon will tell you how long your child's surgery will take, but please remember the time required both before and after the surgery. Both of these phases take time and are important stages of the process. Don't be alarmed if the time in surgery is longer than discussed.

Expect a follow-up call
Within 30 days following your child's surgical procedure, a Cook Children's staff member will call and check on your child. Cook Children's takes part in a national program that measures the quality of patient care and outcomes. The information provided by parents helps Cook Children's.

Keep a notebook
Use it to write down questions and information about your child's surgery, recovery and any special care needs. You can get a free medical planner from the Family Health Library. Just stop by, call 682-885-3060 or email

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There's a retail pharmacy at the medical center
Cook Children's has a retail pharmacy on the first floor, next to the Emergency Department. You can have your child's medicines filled at the pharmacy or delivered to you in the waiting room. If you'd like to pick them up before you leave, let your nurse know as soon as possible. The pharmacy's phone number is 682-885-6913.

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Child Life specialists are a great resource
In addition to providing play activities, a Child Life specialist can also:

  • Prepare and support you and your child for procedures.
  • Talk with patients and siblings about diagnoses, treatment and other changes.
  • Help celebrate birthdays and other important life events.
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Social services are available
You can ask to talk with a social worker for help with:

  • Job, lodging and child care issues.
  • Medical insurance and/or other financial concerns.
  • Problem-solving, community resources and crisis intervention.
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There is a small chapel on site.
Located on the second floor of the main building across from elevator B, the chapel provides a place for prayer, meditation and peace for people of all faiths. The chapel is always open. For service times or to speak with a chaplain, please call 682-885-4030.

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You know your child best!
Share your concerns with the surgery staff. If you don't feel like you're being heard, ask to see the nurse manager or call a patient representative at 682-885-6698.

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Download 10 Things to Know (PDF)