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Pediatric Experience

Welcome to Reston Surgery Center! We want you to be comfortable while you are with us, so we have prepared a story to help explain your visit here. Your doctor has told you that you need to have an operation (sometimes called surgery), and we know you probably have lots of questions. We are going to try to answer them, but if you still have questions, have your parents call us at (703) 639-3100.

The Day Before Your Operation

You may want to pack some things in your backpack to bring with you to the surgery center. You can bring your favorite toy, a game, a book or a blanket to help pass the time. You will have your operation and go home all in the same day. You probably wonder what it will be like to have an operation – think about what you want to know, and remember to ask us lots of questions.

Remember: You may feel a little hungry or thirsty, but you cannot have anything to eat or drink in the morning on the day of your operation.


The Day of Your Operation

On the day of your operation you will come to Reston Surgery Center. You will come early so we can find out all about you. Your parents will have to sign some papers at the Registration desk. You will be given a wrist band that has your name and birthday on it.


Visit our play area while you are waiting. There will be games to play with, and there is a TV in the waiting area. Sometimes it gets boring to wait – read a book, play a card game, color in a coloring book or play with something you brought from home. It won’t take too long before your name is called.


When it is your turn, you and your parents will be taken to your Preop room to get ready. You will meet doctors, nurses and many other people who work hard to make sure people feel better after they have their operation.

A nurse will help you get ready for your operation. Your nurse will weigh you and take your temperature and blood pressure. The nurse might give you some medicine to help you relax before you go to the operating room. You will change into pajamas (surgery PJs) You will be able to change back into your own clothes later. You may see other people getting ready for their operation, too.

The bed in your Preop room will have wheels. This bed is called a “stretcher”. It has wheels because you are going for a ride – to the Operating Room! We have selected a stuffed animal just for you to be with you on the stretcher. He’s going home with you after your operation!

You will meet lots of people while you are at Reston Surgery Center. Some of them may be wearing funny hats, masks, surgery pajamas and gloves. Some people you may see while you wait for your operation to begin:

  • Your Anesthesiologist – Your anesthesiologist will listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope. You can ask your anesthesiologist if you can listen, too! The anesthesiologist will have you breath medicine through a mask to help you sleep through the operation. You won’t feel a thing, and you will wake up after the operation is completely over.

  • Your Surgeon – Your surgeon knows all about you, and will do your operation. Your surgeon will make a little mark on your body where you will be having your operation. Remember, to ask your surgeon any questions you may have.

Your operation will be done in an operating room where everything is very clean and free of germs. The doctors and nurses will be wearing hats and masks to protect everyone from germs. You will be wearing a hat too!

You will hear machines and see lights in the operating room to help the doctors and nurses take good care of you. The machines will tell us how your heart is beating and how you are breathing. Your anesthesiologist will have you breathe sleepy medicine through a mask. After a few slow deep breaths, you will go to sleep.

When your operation is over, you will wake up in the recovery room. The nurses there will make sure you are doing fine. Be sure to tell them how you are feeling. They may give you medicine if you feel sore or hurt. Once you are awake, you can have a Popsicle or a drink. Your parents will be there with you, too.

The nurse will talk to your parents about how to take care of you and what you can do when you get home. You will be able to change back into your own clothes.

You can go home now! We will give you a ride in a wheelchair to your car. Remember, to rest when you get home, follow your doctor’s instructions and get better fast. Thank you for letting us take care of you at Reston Surgery Center.