Children's Hospital Colorado

Surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado

Dr. Duncan Wilcox, Surgeon-in-Chief, performing surgery with other healthcare providers in the operating room

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we want to make sure your visit is as easy as possible and that you know what to expect. Here’s how to prepare for your child's surgery at Anschutz Medical Campus, South Campus and North Campus.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado

Before you arrive for surgery at any of our locations:

  • Have your child take a bath or shower.
    • Don’t shave any skin near where the surgery or procedure will take place to help prevent infections.
  • Bring your child's car seat or booster seat for safe discharge home.
  • Arrive at least two hours before the surgery or procedure at Anschutz Medical Campus, at least 90 minutes before the surgery at South Campus and 75 minutes before surgery at North Campus. Your surgeon's office will double-check your scheduled surgery or procedure time and location with you.
    • Arriving early allows time to register, finish paperwork, ask questions and prepare for the procedure.
  • Most surgeries require that your child not eat beforehand. Make sure to follow the eating and drinking rules prior to surgery. If you have questions about these rules, please contact your surgery scheduler.
  • Tell the staff if your child has a rash, is ill (fever, cough, cold, vomiting or diarrhea) or has an infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). If your child does become ill in the weeks or days leading up to the surgery, please let us know by calling 720-777-5337 or contact your surgery scheduler and let them know.
  • Bring your child’s insurance card and an ID for any adult over the age of 18 accompanying the child.
  • A legal guardian must come with the patient on the day of surgery to sign all documents. If the patient is in foster care, an adult should bring copies of all paperwork. You should not bring the child’s siblings along and only up to two legal guardians are permitted.
  • You may have a chance to meet with a therapeutic recreation/child life specialist (TR/CL) who can help teach and prepare your child for the surgery or procedure. We can decrease your child's fears about their upcoming experience by giving just the right amount of information, based on their age and situation. These services can also help you become more familiar with hospital procedures and information. To request TR/CL services, please call 720-478-0285.
  • For more information, watch this video about surgery at Children’s Colorado.