Preparing for Surgery

Having surgery, especially for the first time, can be scary. Talking and doing other activities with your child can help ease their fears and anxieties, making for a smoother experience. You might even answer some of your own questions, too.

Same Day Surgery

All surgical patients come through Same Day Surgery, located near the operating rooms. A brand-new waiting room is available for families during surgery. Here, families wait in comfort, enjoy complimentary coffee and have access to our Surgery Concierge.

Beepers are also provided, which allow parents to be reached throughout the hospital.

Watch this video to see what to expect when you and your family come for Same Day Surgery at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

What to Bring

Having a familiar item can ease fears and help a child through the surgery process. Feel free to bring in a favorite quiet toy, blanket, pillow, stuffed animal or book. Also, having a favorite bottle, pacifier or sippy cup on hand can be comforting for the recovery time after surgery.

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking restrictions vary per child and surgery. You will be given specific instructions during a pre-surgery confirmation call before your child's procedure.

Child Life Services

When available, a Certified Child Life Specialist can help your child through the surgery process. They will:

  • Explain procedures.
  • Explain anesthesia and help your child pick out their "magic air."
  • Provide movies or quiet toys during the waiting periods.
  • Keep your child company into the operating room and until they fall asleep to ease any remaining anxiety.


We strive to make the patient’s entire stay as family friendly as possible. Following surgery, children are either moved to our same day surgery rooms, or to the patient-care wing, where every child stays in one of our private rooms.

Contact us

We understand that surgery can be scary for you and your child. That’s why we’re here to support you. Don’t hesitate to call us at 314-268-4080 if you have any questions or concerns.

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