Going to theatre
Before an operation, your child will have been admitted to Alder Hey and you’ll have received all the information you need, as well as having an opportunity to speak to our clinical staff.
Seeing your child go to theatre can be emotional and distressing so you may like to know a little more read more about what to expect before, during and after surgery.
Before theatre – surgical site marking
You’ll meet the clinical team, including nurses, doctors and surgeons during your child’s assessment. During this time, the surgeon who is performing the operation will use a marker pen to highlight the area on your child’s body where surgery is to take place. This is a safety procedure, and the pen marks will wash off easily.
Going to theatre
Before your child’s procedure, one of the ward staff will apply a special cream to their hand or foot to make needles less painful.
When it’s time for the procedure, you are welcome to accompany a member of the ward team who will escort your child to theatre, and they can walk, go on a trolley or use their wheelchair – whatever is most comfortable. One parent or carer can also go with your child into the anaesthetic room and stay with them until they’re asleep.
The general anaesthetic will be given either through your child’s hand, or through a mask which fits over the nose and mouth.
What to do during your child’s operation
We understand that for parents and carers, this can be the most distressing time of all. The length of the operation will vary depending on the procedure, and for longer operations please leave your contact details with a nurse so that we can contact you if we need to.
You help to pass the time by:
- Taking a break and getting something to eat or drink in the atrium restaurant – you might like to read more about Alder Hey’s facilities
- Using a parent waiting room – one of the nursing staff will show you where you can wait
- Getting some fresh air – our new hospital is built in a park and there are garden areas to sit in. You could also explore the facilities in the local area. Please remember Alder Hey is a non-smoking hospital and this applies to the whole hospital site.
After the operation, your child will be moved to a recovery room until they wake up. They will then be moved to their allocated ward where you can see them.
Painbusting – managing feelings of pain, sickness and soreness after an operation
It’s important for us to be able to help children manage any pain or discomfort after their procedure and we encourage children to tell us if they don’t feel well when they wake up. As part of preparing your child for an operation, why not download and read Painbusters, a new cartoon guide designed for the whole family.