At Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, we know all about helping children and their families through stressful times, including surgeries. Not only do we offer excellent medical and surgical care, we also take pride in helping you take care of the emotional needs of your child. Although we can help you reassure your child, we know that the truth is no one knows your son or daughter better than you. In fact, you play the most important role in preparing your child for this visit, and how well you do so will make a difference in his or her experience at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The following instructional brochure applies to all outpatient procedures requiring anesthesia: all surgeries and other diagnostic studies or procedures such as MRI, gastroenterology studies, Auditory Brain Response (ABR) and Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) taking place at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

View the pediatric outpatient handbook (English version)»

View the pediatric outpatient handbook (Spanish version)»

Surgery Timeline 

Prior to the Day of Surgery 

Prior to the day of your child’s surgery, you may need to complete the following steps:

  • Preregistration:We ask that patients pay their estimated financial portion, as determined by their insurance plan, prior to or at the time of service. If a member of our financial department has not contacted you prior to surgery, please call (713) 704-6209 to obtain your balance.
  • Pre-anesthesia review: Some doctors ask that you come to our Children’s Anesthesia Clinic or connect with a member of the anesthesia team prior to the date of surgery. In the clinic, your child will be seen by a nurse and an anesthesiologist, who will gather information about your child’s medical history. An anesthesia team member might also call you to discuss additional health history, current medical issues or other patient information. Further testing may be recommended to confirm it is appropriate and safe to proceed. Please know it is extremely important to complete pre-anesthesia review or your child’s surgery could be delayed or cancelled.

The Day Before Surgery

There are two things you should do the day before your child is scheduled for surgery. First, find out what time your child’s surgery will begin and what time you need to arrive. A nurse from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital will call you the afternoon prior to surgery to give you instructions and the most up-to-date information regarding surgery and arrival times. Second, it is very important for your child to follow the food and beverage restrictions outlined below.

Surgery Times May Change

Please keep in mind that the scheduled surgery time is our best estimate. While not anticipated, your child’s surgery could be moved earlier or later on the schedule for many reasons. Thank you for being flexible and patient.

Food and Drink Restrictions

Your child may have a full meal up to eight hours before surgery; a light snack up to six hours before surgery, (see chart below for suggested items); breast milk up to four hours before surgery; and clear liquids up to one hour before surgery. Clear liquids are those you can see through, such as apple juice, water and Pedialyte.

The chart below summarizes these requirements. Because the surgery may be delayed, it is important to encourage your child to continue to take clear liquids up to two hours prior to the estimated start time.

Types of Food and Beverage Allowed Up To... 
Full meal  8 hours before surgery
Milk, yogurt, cereals, juices, pediatric or infant formulas  6 hours before surgery
Breast milk  4 hours before surgery
Clear liquids, such as water, Gatorade, Sprite, apple juice or Pedialyte  1 hour before surgery

The Day of Surgery


On the day of surgery, be sure to arrive at the Children’s Day Surgery waiting room on the 2nd floor of the Sarofim Pavilion at your assigned time. Our staff will complete your registration and collect any amount due, if prior arrangements have not been made. Parents will need to present identification and insurance cards at the time of check-in. The parent(s) and patient will be issued an ID bracelet upon completion of check-in.

Support for Patients and Families

Children’s Day Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann has a Child Life Specialist on staff who is trained to assist each child with the hospital experience as it relates to his or her educational, emotional and developmental needs. The Specialist is available to help you talk with your child about what to expect before, during and after surgery. If you would like to speak with a Child Life Specialist about how you can help your child with the Children’s  Day Surgery experience, please call pre-procedure nurses at (713) 704-1383 so they can connect you with the Child Life Specialist. If your child has emotional and/or developmental special needs, one of our Children’s Anesthesia Clinic or Day Surgery nurses will complete an assessment form prior to the day of the procedure that will assist us in creating a plan of care based on your child’s individual needs.

Initial Exam

After completing registration, your child will be seen by a nurse, who will check his or her vital signs and review the medical history. You will also meet with an anesthesiologist, who will discuss the plan for your child’s anesthesia. Your child will then be given privacy to change into a gown. Prior to leaving for the surgery, you will meet the operating room nurses. Your child may take along a clean comfort item (such as a stuffed animal or blanket).

After Surgery

Parents will be able to see their child approximately 30 minutes after he or she has arrived in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).

Please understand that siblings and other visitors younger than 13 years of age are not allowed in the PACU. They also should not be left unattended in the waiting room, so please make arrangements to have your other children supervised by an adult, if you bring them with you.

Going Home

When your child is ready to go home, we will give you supplies and instructions for his or her care at home.

Let Us Know

  • If your child has chicken pox or measles, or has recently been exposed to chicken pox or measles, we must know this before you come to the hospital for surgery. This information will help us protect other patients from these highly contagious illnesses.
  • If your child was born premature (less than 37 weeks gestation) and is younger than 8 months of age, he or she may require an overnight observation stay.
  • If your child had bronchitis, RVS, croup, pneumonia, or flu in the last 4-6 weeks.
  • If your child requires any special medical equipment (ex: trach tube, CPAP or BIPAP machine, ventilator) please bring your emergency bag and any necessary accessories.

If your child is sick with any symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, or is taking antibiotics for a current infection, it may be safer to postpone surgery. These conditions and additional health questions will be discussed with you by the anesthesia nurse about a week before your child’s surgery and by another nurse the day before surgery. Patient safety always comes first, and we may have to postpone or cancel your child’s procedure based on their current health situation. Please call us at (713) 704-1383 if any of these situations apply to your child before surgery.

Other Reminders for Day of Surgery:

  • Make arrangements for siblings to stay with family or friends.
  • Bathe your child the evening before surgery.
  • Dress your child in comfortable clothes that are easy to remove.
  • Bring your insurance or Medicaid card and your driver’s license or photo I.D.
  • Bring a favorite clean comfort item to help your child relax. Put a clean pillow and clean blanket in the car for the ride home.
  • If your child prefers a special bottle or cup, bring it with you.
  • If your child requires a special diet or formula, bring these items with you.
  • If your child wears contact lenses, bring the case and solution to store them. The lenses must be removed before surgery.
  • Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. All jewelry must be removed before surgery.
  • Bring a sweater/blanket for yourself; our waiting rooms temperatures may vary.


TMC Garage 4: 1406 Cambridge, Houston TX 77030

Memorial Hermann’s Sterling Garage: 1400 Ross Sterling Ave., Houston TX 77030

Memorial Hermann’s Fannin Valet: 6411 Fannin, Houston TX 77030

From Sterling Garage or TMC Garage 4, enter the hospital on floor 2 and follow signs to Children’s Day Surgery. You will pass an ocean-themed mosaic, and notice blue wave designs on the floor. Once you see the waves, the Children’s Day Surgery Reception desk will be ahead on your right.

From Fannin Valet, follow signs to The Atrium. Using the up escalator or the Children’s Memorial Hermann elevator lobby near the center of the Atrium, go to floor 2. Follow signs toward Sarofim Pavilion. Look for the blue wall along the way, then for a blue wave design on the floor. Once you see the waves, the Children’s Day Surgery Reception will be ahead on your left.

If you need additional directions, please call (713) 704-6151.

Cancelled Surgery

If your child’s procedure or surgery is cancelled for any reason, please contact your provider’s office directly to reschedule or for additionally information.

Contact Us

To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.


Thank you for contacting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. We have received your inquiry, and a team member will contact you soon.

If you need more immediate assistance, please call us at (713) 704-KIDS (5437).

What to Expect During Your Stay