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What did/would you do to prepare a 4 year old for surgery?

My daughter will have turned 4 a month prior to her surgery. How do I prepare her for this? I'm really at a loss as to what I'll tell her. Are there resources like children's books (etc.) that you found helped your child?

 
banana-bear

Asked by banana-bear at 4:36 PM on Jun. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 24 (19,727 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but my family and I went through this when my 8 year old niece had to have a non-functional kidney removed two years ago. We sat her down and told her that she will be asleep throughout the entire surgery and we'll be there with her the entire time. Also we took her favorite book and doll with her up to the UVA medical center as well. The day of the surgery she was very scared and so were we, BUT we did not show it. The doctor had her count backwards from 100, and by the time she got to 90, she was out like a log. She did not remember the entire day, and the surgery went well. My point is, there is nothing much you can do to prepare anyone for surgery, but just try to reassure your child that it will be okay, and you will be there with her throughout the entire process, and trust me, she will be great. I hope I helped by sharing my past experience.
    ambr2006

    Answer by ambr2006 at 4:49 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Personally I wouldn't tell her much. I would however, take her for a tour of the hospital just to walk around to calm any fears she may have of hospitals. I was five when I had my first surgery and wish they had done something like that for me. Explaining is just too deep. She has no true concept of what they will do but a field trip might help her not be afraid.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:38 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • I tried to explain it and she's just not getting it. I showed her where the incision will be and she said not to cut her tummy. She seemed pretty freaked out. She's been to the hospital several times before (for other tests and appts.), so I really don't think she'll be scared of the setting. I think once they try to give her an IV, put her under, etc. is when we'll have problems. I don't know how she's going to react to having the incision mark either - and with it being a c-section scar, it's going to be difficult for her to act like a normal kid running around and such.

    banana-bear

    Comment by banana-bear (original poster) at 4:48 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Thanks Ambr2006, I appreciate it! I was planning on bringing familiar toys, books, and new activities to do while she's there. She'll have to be there for 2 days/nights afterwards. I do take comfort in knowing that an 8 year old couldn't remember the day.....I really don't want my daughter to remember either.

    banana-bear

    Comment by banana-bear (original poster) at 4:54 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • aw..i feel so sorry for her. I know this is different but my 4 year old just had some test done they had to catheter her when she was awake i just told her they were going to put something where she pee peed but they had to put this dye in her and watch her bladder to see if it refluxed and it did now she might have to have sugery I think its best to let them know what is going to be going on
    Shannon706

    Answer by Shannon706 at 6:24 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • you could try getting her a speacial? treat like a blanket or toy that she doesnt have right now. and just tell her she is going to go to sleep but when she wakes up she'll have lots of cool dreams to tell mommy
    knagsmom

    Answer by knagsmom at 9:01 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Shannon, my daughter had that test (VCUG) back in April. She has a bilateral level 3 reflux, which is why she's going in for surgery. How bad is your daughter's? She may not need surgery - but I hate the idea of keeping a child on daily antibiotics infinitely. My daughter has been on daily antibiotics since March, I hate it. I can't wait for this surgery to be over and for everything to be fixed!! But I feel so bad for her at the same time, putting her through this. Well, I hope you get good news!!

    banana-bear

    Comment by banana-bear (original poster) at 10:44 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Knags, that's a great idea! I did that back in April when she had all those tests done, I think this is a perfect situation for something new. Now just to figure out what, since she'll be right off her birthday, lol.

    banana-bear

    Comment by banana-bear (original poster) at 10:46 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

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