Surviving Day Surgery with your One Year Old

Timmy was born with an undescended testicle. His pediatrician said to give it until he was one year old to come down by itself but it didn’t – so day surgery was needed. The pamphlet we got gave info on how to explain to a child and to calm him – not a one year old. So here goes – my tips.

Fasting is so the stomach is empty during the procedure. General anesthesia causes nausea, so any retching would not produce undigested food and choking risk.

Schedule the surgery 1st thing in the morning. His regular night feed at 2300hrs, and next morning at about 0830hrs. Surgery was scheduled for 0800hrs. He was out until about 0930hrs. I thought he would be famished once out of surgery, he wasn’t. He was REALLY cranky.

Once old enough, most children and adults would take some time coming to from anesthesia being groggy but calm. Babies just get angry because of the unfamiliar sensations and surroundings, etc. Well, ours was! He refused to be put down on a bed. We ended up carrying him for the next couple of hours. If you use a baby carrier such as a Baby Bjorn, Beco, or Ergo, bring it and use it.

His regular diaper bag, including change of clothes, spare diapers etc.
Spare clothes for you too.
Reading material or something to entertain yourself with. There will be a lot of waiting.

Once he’s calmed down and was more alert, it was time to give him some water. If he tolerated that for 10 minutes, then milk. He didn’t – threw up water on me. Yay for the spare T-shirt.

We waited another half hour, then fed water again. He held on to that for 10 minutes.

We then gave him a full feed of milk. Mistake! Threw most of it up on his momma. We were then told later that we should have offered a partial feed; then give more if he wanted more.

Top tip: Fill your milk powder dispenser with a third of a feed.

Timmy takes 180ml of water with 3 level scoops of milk. Instead of filling up the dispenser with the 3 level scoops, fill each compartment with 1 scoop. Voila – partial feed.

We waited another half hour before trying it again. This time, we gave a partial feed by estimating how much should come out from the dispenser.

The last step was to remove the catheter from his hand. He didn’t like that very much – but I don’t have tips on how to manage that except just speaking to him calmly.

We got home mid afternoon and we all had a good long nap. He was still cranky in the evening when we brought him out for dinner.

Don’t forget the paracetamol – we were told 150mg 4 times a day. Timmy seems to be coping fine with just 2 or 3 doses a day.

I hope this helped – good luck!

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