Perioperative Pediatric Care

A mother and her son

The Outpatient Surgery Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Pediatric Perioperative Program provide comprehensive, family-centered care to our patients and their families. We provide a full array of services before, during, and after surgery.

To help minimize anxiety, both spaces offer a playroom and various activities and resources for children of all ages, such as movies, iPads, games, and books.

Reducing fear and anxiety

Helping your child understand what to expect before and after surgery can help reduce their fears and anxiety about surgery and coming to the hospital.

Our goal is to make all children familiar with the perioperative space and process before their surgery. We do this by providing materials that explain the process. We also offer a one-hour Operation Sneak-A-Peek tour of the operating room and the pediatric perioperative area.

You can learn about the doctors, nurses, and other team members you'll meet on the day of your of your child's surgery by reading about the perioperative team.

A child in the perioperative playroom

For more information about what to expect on the day of your child's surgery, visit our Preparing for Your Child's Surgery page, and view our Operation Sneak-a-Peek video.

Helping your child before and after surgery

As a parent, the best way you can help your child prepare is to make sure you understand the surgical process. This way you can help your child understand what to expect.

During the process of sedation (anesthesia induction), parents are often allowed into the operating room to comfort their child to avoid separation anxiety. The anesthesia and perioperative teams will let parents know what to expect while in the operating suite. The Child Life Specialist is available to provide emotional and procedural support as needed.

On the day after surgery, our staff makes follow-up phone calls to all parents. If additional follow-up is needed, we will help you reach the appropriate physician to ensure continuity of care.