RECOVERING FROM SURGERY

16191206_s

A common question for most parents is, ‘how long will it take my child to recover from surgery?’ Surprisingly, kids are far more resilient than adults and recover much better than adults.

While a child may wake up from anesthesia usually pain-free because of infiltration of the operative site with local anesthetic medication (which wears off in 6-8hours), it is usual for most children to have some pain after surgery for a couple of days. Depending on the type of surgery, this duration might be longer. During this period, stronger pain medications may be used in older children, but most children do well with routine over the counter pain medications.

During the recovery period, activity is generally not restricted for children. The pediatric patient 21492128_sis the best judge of what activity is possible. ‘When can my child get back to school?’ Once pain is reasonably under control, which is a few days, most children can get back to school. However gym and sport should be avoided for 2-3 weeks, which is the time taken for wound healing to be complete. Generally children receive absorbable stitches placed in a sub-cuticular fashion (in the deeper layers of  the skin) which ensure that stitches do not need to be removed and the cosmetic result is good.

A post operative visit with the surgeon or your child’s pediatrician is customary during the recovery phase at which time satisfactory progress can be confirmed. With the standard precautions that are taken, infection is not common. However, post operative infection may be suggested by high fever and pus discharge from the wound. Additionally, if the patient is not recovering satisfactorily, you should contact the surgical office (631 321 2100) during routine hours and the answering service (631 689 4526) during emergent hours.

APPOINTMENT WITH A SURGEON

18736298_s

An appointment with your surgeon is recommended to get your child examined and to discuss the various aspects of the disease your child has including the surgical treatment if available. It also gives you the opportunity to meet with the surgeon and be comfortable with the surgical team and the process of going ahead with the surgery.

For many diseases, the recommendation might be not to operate or to wait for a period of time before going ahead with surgery. In some pediatric surgical conditions, waiting for a while is recommended to allow for spontaneous resolution which spares a child the need for surgery.  If surgery is the way to go forward, be sure to ask the surgeon about the nature of disease, type of surgery and the possible complications. Laparoscopic surgery might be an option for some conditions. The duration of stay in hospital (most surgeries are done as outpatient surgeries) and the time a child would take to recover are other questions you need to clarify with your surgeon.

All appointments are done at the Center for Pediatric Specialty Care, 655 Deer Park Ave, Babylon, NY 11702. Appointments are available for Dr Jones on Tuesdays & Fridays and for Dr Winick on Mondays & Thursdays.