Heart Operation (Open Heart)
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Commonly Asked Questions

Can I be in the operating room with my child?
Unfortunately not. The operating room is kept sterile and only medical personnel are allowed in the room. Ask if you can be with your child when the first sedative is given. In some cases this may be possible.

Should I tell my child about the operation?
Yes, if your child is old enough to understand and notice the change in routine. A very simple explanation is usually all that is needed. For example: "Dr.______ will be fixing your heart tomorrow. We will be with you in the hospital. You can take your (doll, blanket, etc.) with you." Ask if you and your child can have a tour of the intensive care unit and pediatric ward.

Can I meet the surgeon before the operation?
Yes you may – and you should. Ask for the office number and schedule a meeting.

Should my child or a parent donate blood before the surgery?
Perhaps. Ask the surgeon at your meeting if extra blood will be needed.