You can help make sure your child has the best possible outcome by understanding what to expect before, during and after SEMLS. Here are a few resources to help you feel more prepared:

A Week Before Surgery

You’ll hear from us—we’ll:

  • Obtain a health history, including details about medicines (name, dose, frequency), pharmacy and primary care doctor.
  • Discuss what to expect on the day of surgery and during the hospital stay.
  • Let you know what you’ll need when your child leaves the hospital.

Maintain a Healthy Diet and Regular Activity

Overall health can affect how well and how quickly your child recovers from SEMLS. Your child should maintain regular levels of activity and physical therapy before surgery. Eating adequate amounts of food with iron, calcium and vitamins C and D (fresh colorful fruits and vegetables, dairy food, and other products with added iron and calcium) is helpful, too.

Tell Us About Latex Allergies

Gillette is a latex-free facility, but it’s still important to tell us if your child has a latex allergy or has ever had a severe reaction to latex.

Weaning Off Medicines

When we schedule surgery, we ask about medicines the patient takes. Sometimes, a patient must wean off (stop taking) medicines before surgery. The time it takes to wean off a medicine can vary. The patient might need to start the process one week before surgery, several months in advance, or somewhere in between.

For more information, talk to a clinic nurse or the health care provider who prescribes the medicine(s).

Manage Stress

Sometimes fears, behavior or expectations related to the upcoming surgery cause stress for families. Contact your child’s primary health care provider or Child and Family Services for support.

Gillette can help with resources that might help reduce anxiety for all of your family members. Our child life specialists can provide emotional support and distractions (such as toys and movies we can bring to the preoperative waiting area before surgery begins). Child life specialists also can meet with your child’s siblings to address their feelings and concerns.

Knowing what to expect can help everyone feel more prepared. We’ll be sure to help clarify short- and long-term expectations for outcomes following a SEMLS.