Anticipating surgery for a child can be an anxious time, but we feel certain that you and your child will be pleased with your experience at the Baystate Children's Hospital Surgery Center.
Baystate Children's Hospital Surgery Center
Our well-equipped play space designed just for children and teens is filled with toys, video games, colorful images, an aquarium, and a lighthouse that doubles as an entertainment center.
Child life specialists-professionals who are skilled in assisting children and teenagers cope with hospitalization at their own developmental level-are available to help children and their parents. The surgery center also has its own admitting, waiting, and recovery rooms so children don't share spaces with adult patients.
The evening before surgery, one of our nurses will call you to provide pre-operative instructions, answer your questions, and offer support.
You can accompany your child/teen into the operating room on the day of surgery, and stay until they are asleep. The anesthesiologist will discuss this option with you in advance. You will rejoin your child in the recovery room, and can often be at the bedside before they first awake from anesthesia. The day after surgery, a nurse will call you to make sure the recovery process is going well and to answer any questions you may have.
Types of Surgery
We provide comprehensive pediatric surgical care to infants, children, and adolescents, including:
State-of-the-art newborn surgery
- Minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic and thoracoscopic)
- Hernia surgery
- Trauma surgery
- Abdominal surgery
- Endoscopic surgery
- Oncology surgery
- Ovarian tumors
- Testicular tumors
- Thoracic surgery
- Chest wall reconstructions for rib and sternal anomalies (pectus excavatum)
- Soft tissue surgery
- Head and neck surgery
- Urologic surgery (including Deflux injections for ureteral reflux)
- Varicocelectomy (laparoscopic and open)
Inpatient Care at Baystate Children's Hospital
For children who require hospitalization after surgery, we offer a family-friendly environment at Baystate Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital in our region. Featuring separate, specially designed inpatient units for children and adolescents, the hospital offers play spaces, including our rooftop playdeck, that make a hospital stay a positive, non-threatening experience for children and families.
At Baystate Children's Hospital, we are especially proud of our committed child life specialists, who are available on the inpatient units as well as in the Surgery Center and Emergency Department.
For children requiring advanced monitoring and care after surgery, we have the region's only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, with its staff of specially trained intensive care pediatricians and nurses. Baystate Children's Hospital also offers the region's only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies and newborns requiring advanced monitoring.
Preparing Your Child for Surgery
When you find out your child needs surgery, you need to prepare the child for the experience.
Coming to the hospital may seem overwhelming, but the more informed you are, the easier it will be for both you and your child.First, prepare yourself. Then you can begin to begin to prepare your child.
Ask questions of your surgeon and the people who book the surgery:
Be sure you know what procedure will be done and why and how it will be done.
- Be careful not to promise your child anything unless you are sure that is accurate.
- Be sure to take care of yourself too!
- Ask your family and friends for help if you need support.
- Use hospital resources such as social workers and financial advisors
- Sometimes a Baystate chaplain can help.
What You Can Do
Every child is different, so consider these tips when you prepare your child:
Provide age appropriate information ahead of time.Surprises can make the experience scarier, so it’s important that YOU have the correct information. Children will do better if they have been told in simple, honest terms:
- What will happen
- Where they will be
- Where their parents will be
Choose your words carefully and avoid words that may intimidate your child. Think about your facial expressions and the tone of your voice. If children think you are anxious, it will add to their worry. Encourage your children to ask questions and talk about coming to the hospital. It will help them process the experience and ensure they don’t have misconceptions.
What to Expect in the Days Before Surgery
The registration department will call you a few days before your child’s surgery date to go over general information with you and verify name, address insurance information, and parent/guardian details.
One of the nurses from the pediatric surgical area will also call to give you information, such as:
- Arrival times
- Eating and drinking instructions
- Driving and parking directions
If you plan to take a pre-operative tour of Baystate Children’s Hospital, sign up with Baystate Health Link at 413-794-2255 or toll-free at 1-800-377-HEALTH outside the Springfield calling area.
When communicating with your child about an upcoming hospital experience, use age appropriate terms and concepts to minimize intimidation and worry. We offer suggestions and tips for communicating with the following age groups. Continue by choosing the age group that is closest to your child: