Hospital Surgery Vent...

Updated on August 09, 2012
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
13 answers

My daughter will be having laproscopic surgery at All Children's Hospital on Friday to try to repair her VU Reflux. We have gone back and forth on the decision to do the surgery for months... The reality though is that is has been 4.5 years and her condition is not she is not likely to grow out of it. So, we are stuck with surgery, which is scary enough on its own.

Now I am trying to get a time to be at the hospital on Friday. They are giving me a HUGE hassle about telling me. They INSIST that they don't let people know the schedule for surgery until the day before between 1-5 p.m. No matter how I explain it, these people do not seem to understand that I have another child in which I have to arrange care for while we are at the hospital. My son is 6 so I OBVIOUSLY cannot leave him home alone. I DO NOT have family local to help out. What about this is so hard to understand???? I call the hospital and they tell me that the urologist does the scheduling...I call the urologist and they tell me that the hospital schedules. They both say that they schedule by daughter is 4 and therefore would not be first thing in the morning. Therefore, they expect me to not feed her in the morning and then wait around most of the day until they get to her. Are you freaking kidding me???? They expect me to starve my child all cruel is that. I understand the need for an empty stomach, but it seems like they would just schedule morning surgeries for this very reason. It seems that it would be unbearably hard and unreasonable to expect a 4 year old not to eat all day.

I am one pissed off Mom. This seems like a cattle call in which they just squeeze as many surgeries as they can in one day to maximize their matter how miserable they make the kids in the process. No matter what I say, I cannot seem to get a satisfactory resolution from these people. They act as though I should be honored that they agreed to do the surgery. They are not doing this out of the goodness of their heart....they are being well compensated by me and my insurance company.

So for the obligatory do I handle Friday to make the day easier for my daughter...apparently we won't be getting any compassion from the hospital and urologist....

ETA: My son's regular daycare provider is a traditional daycare center so there is no such thing as flexible hours. I am tenatively planning on switching kids and sending him to my daughter's home daycare for Friday. She knows and is willing, but it sure would be considerate if I could tell her approximately when I need her. As for the clear liquids, no clue...they won't discuss that with me until they call sometime tommorrow afternoon.

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So What Happened?

The surgery is done and appeared to go well. We had to be at the hospital by 8:30 and we were out of there by 11:30. Once we got there, the nurses were amazing. There is no doubt that this has been a horrible experience, but the nurses were wonderful with my DD. She is a bit sore, so it is now time for Mommy and Daddy to pamper her all weekend long.

More Answers


answers from Austin on

I can tell you are very stressed.

You need to try to calm yourself.

This is not a big deal when you just do your best.
Remember they do this all of the time and people/children do just fine.

The not eating, will be fine, do not search for trouble. They may allow her little sips of water or ice. Just explain it to your daughter, she is a smart girl and will understand why.

The baby sitting is also not a big deal, call and set up a sitter for all of the possible hours. This is a one time thing, so just be prepared for anything.
Let them know it is a on call situation, do not make it a big deal. What is the plan in case your child has complications and has to stay in the hospital? Make an emergency plan for this too.

Your attitude is everything. If you act like the sky is falling or that everyone is just trying to mess with you, what type of example are you setting for your children. You are a tree, you can bend. Again, everybody else can deal with this, I am sure you can too. I will be sending you good thoughts.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I really do feel for you but I have been the emergency that messes up the schedule for everyone else. Unfortunately, the docs and hospital to do not know what may come up. I always try to be more patient knowing I am better off being the one inconvenienced than being the emergency.

My daughter had surgery and we didn't find out until the day before what time they wanted us to arrive. I think that is pretty standard.

Prayers that all goes well. I understand how stressful this is.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have a friend who's son was in a horrible accident at school. Let's just say that he needed a urologist immediately. They had to get him in as soon as they could. That is why they wont tell you when your surgery is. There may be someone that comes to them with a more important issue than yours.
I understand your frustration. I had the exact thing happening to me with my son when he needed surgery from the urologist at Children's and they told me exactly what I told you. I also have an older child, he was 3, and there was a play room where he was able to play, with a childcare provider, for 3 hours. That gave us time to be in with my son when they put him out, go and get my other son and play with him, and then go back to my other son when surgery was over. Look into that and see if your Children's has that. I am willing to bet that they do.
I understand that you are frustrated, but my experience with Children's hospital has NEVER been one of "cattle calls" and "making children miserable". You just are not the most important person, nor should you be. There are lots of surgeries that are happening that day. Lots of people that have to follow those rules, and lots of kids that are not going to eat for a couple of hours. Thank God that your child is just going in for day surgery and you are not fighting Cancer, Accident, injuries, and other things that could actually end your daughter's life. Your daughter will make it through just fine.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My son was scheduled to get his ear tubes put in at 3:00pm. He had gone all day without food, and had spent the last couples of hours in a gown prepped and waiting for surgery when the nurse came to the surgical waiting room at 3:30pm to tell us that they were not going to get to his surgery that day at all. Go home and wait to be resceduled!!! So about three weeks later we got to do the same thing all over again. That time he got a 1:00pm surgery, so he didn't have to starve as long at least. My other son stayed at the hospital with us, is that possible for you? They even had video games in the surgical waiting room.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What a tough situation.

Keep in mind that there is a reason that they can't tell you the schedule today. Surgery schedules change based on the urgency of cases. They can only plan so much in advance, and if a more urgent case than your daughter's comes up tomorrow, they will schedule her ahead of your daughter.

I'd ask your child care provider to be flexible with the schedule for Friday. Let he/she know that you can't get a firm schedule from the hospital until tomorrow afternoon, and ask her to be open for the day so you have it covered.

Can she have anything by mouth on Friday--clear liquids, or nothing at all?

ETA: Just thought I'd address the idea that the healthcare providers are greedy and lack compassion. As I type this I am waiting for my husband to text me to tell me he's done seeing his last patient of the day. It is 9 pm. He left the house this morning at 6:30 am. He has been taking care of patients for 14 hours so far today. He was also on call last night, and it was a particularly busy call night, and we were both awoken at least 8 times during the night with pages from the ER. Does he do this because he's greedy? I'll bet someone thinks so, but I know that is not the case. Why does my husband work so hard? His single largest driving factor is his concern for his patients. He knows that there is already a defecit of physicians, and that in a few years, when 32 million newly insured patients enter the market, there will be an even more severe shortage. My kids haven't seen their dad since they went to sleep on Monday night. They won't see him again until Saturday morning (his first day off in weeks), unless they get up before 6:30 am to catch him as he heads out the door. This is a very typical week for us.

In case you need some encouragement that those who are caring for your daughter on Friday MIGHT just be good people, I thought I'd share with you this story about a pediatric surgeon who died this weekend while rescuing 2 children from drowning in Lake Michigan. It might help give you a bit of hope and faith in your daughter's care providers.

ETA2: So happy to hear that the day of the surgery went smoothly and didn't cause anyone undue hardship. Best wishes to your daughter for a speedy recovery!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Well if it makes you feel better my doctor has always given me a time. Four to six hours later I would get my surgery. Not sure which is better but I would imagine you can just pick a time in the morning at will and have the same result. :-/

I will tell you so far as daycare and all that, I always blocked off all day. In other words my other kids were dropped off at my parents the night before because generally that sadistic surgeon told me six in the morning. My dad could count on having them until the evening. This is with a time in mind.

Even with a time in mind anesthesia takes a flexible amount of time to start, vitals must be taken, the surgeon must finish the case before you. You may have complications. She may not wake up quickly. Heck she could be like me waking up and saying not ready and going back to sleep.

I guess I get the feel surgery isn't old hat to you, I had my first when I was 18. You learn, this isn't like a doctors appointment only longer. It is the coordinated effort of several doctors and nurses. It takes all day.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


I completely understand your vent. I have been through my share of surgeries etc with my kiddos as well as myself. My best advice is to plan for a 12 hour day. Have your daycare on standby for their whole working hours. Then for the time after, arrange another sitter to come pick up your child from daycare and take them home until you come back. Or if you feel more comfortable, have them take your child to the hospital to hang out with you. For your child having surgery----have lots of activities : coloring book, watercolor paint, dvd with movies, etc. see if the hospital has a children's room to play in while you wait. bring toys, a special lovey and whatever makes your child comfortable. Usually clear liquids ok until 4 hours before. But I would double check. Best wishes and I know with the surgery scheduling, they aren't kidding. They won't tell you till the day before. I have a surgery planned for next week and they wont tell me what time to be there til the night before. It sucks and its awful, but thats the way it goes. You can always file a complaint after everything if it makes you feel better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

That is the way it works in all hospitals. I have worked in the OR, my daughter works in the OR. The schedules are done the day before. Usually around noon. No one is trying to purposely make your life miserable. All patients have different needs. At four your daughter is old
enough to understand that she cannot eat or drink anything in the morning.
Try doing that with a six month old that needs surgery. Remember too
when you get a time for the surgery, that is approximate. Some cases take
longer, some turn out to be short. Things happen. I understand you are
nervous, but if you go in on Friday in the frame of mind you are in now, it will not help anyone. Not trying to be snarky just telling like it is. Put a smile on
your face, stay calm and your little one will do the same. You get upset at
something, she will pick up on it. As far as your older child, have a friend
keep him so you do not have to worry about picking him up. Some kids
wake up from anesthia without a problem, some are sick. I always anticipate the worse. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Wow, you would hope that a Children's Hospital more than any other would understand your situation. The Children's Hospital here has a department, I'm trying to think of what it's called..something like Patient Advocate...I'd try calling and asking for that department & if that's not exactly what they call it they should direct you to the right department. Explain ALL of your concerns, from the scheduling time of the surgery to your need to make plans for your other child. And do they really expect a child not to eat or drink?? If so, they need to be understanding and realize the timing needs to be early in the morning. I'd also want someone to level with me on WHO does the scheduling, the hospital or the doctor. I'd especially point out that the surgery is FRIDAY and you need definite answers now!

Good luck & keep us updated. Prayers for your daughter and you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You have my sympathy. Planning medically for "other" children can be as stressful as dealing with the "actual" issues sometimes, can't it? :(

Here is what I would do in your shoes, if it is possible.
Find a friend of your son's, and call up his mom and ask if your son can spend the night Thursday night. The other mom can take him to school with her own son (if they are back in school already), and if not back in, perhaps she would agree to drop him at daycare FOR you on Friday. Heck, if she is a SAHM, perhaps she would even offer to keep him until you are ready for him, even if it means Saturday morning. You never know.
But you need to stop stressing with the hospital end of it (there is only so much you can do besides wait, and even then, you STILL might end up waiting until tomorrow 1-5 to know anything), and get proactive to figure out a plan for your son. So what if he doesn't HAVE to be cared for else where on Thursday night, because the surgery ends up not happening until noon. He will find it a great big adventure to sleep over with a friend, and you can focus on just your daughter in the morning.

I had to do this when giving birth with my 2nd child. We had ZERO family within 5 hours of us. So, I just had to make plans with a few friends with near aged kids of my son (who was almost 3) so that they could meet us or come by and pick him up as we were going to the hospital for labor/delivery.
It was the same sort of thing. Only I didn't even get 1-5 pm the night before for a warning. Just, at about 7:30 pm on a Friday night realized... "hey! I'm in labor!" That was tough. It was son's bedtime. And my "on call" friend wasn't home.
We got it worked out, and so will you.
Blessings for your daughter and the surgeon/medial professionals who will be caring for her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I have had been their children who needed surgery 3 times over and we have always left with a date and time and of course the day prior to surgery,i'm having surgery tomorrow and I new 4 weeks ago what day and time and what not to do the night before.What a headache you'll get through.But yes phone calls will happen i've had 2 from the hospital for myself tomorrow,and for my children they have called in advanced too,plus the day before as a prep reminder.Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We've gone through 4 heart cath procedures, 2 open heart surgeries, and one other minor surgery with my son and what they are telling you is typical. I know it's not fun, and doesn't help your already high anxiety, but it is pretty standard.

I think their scheduling changes so much (last minute kids that take priority, kids that get sick and cancel their surgeries, etc.), that they don't make anything final until the last minute.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Lots of good points below. Just remember that your daughter notices when mommy is freaking out & you will make it harder on her if you are stressed. Take a deep breath, and plan as well as you can. Getting upset & having attitude with the staff is not going to change anything, nor does do anyone any good.

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