Pediatric surgery excellence

When your child needs surgery, you can trust the skilled pediatric surgeons and staff at Portsmouth Regional Hospital to provide compassionate, high-quality surgical care close to home.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures for children performed by highly trained surgeons using the most advanced surgical technologies. Our multispecialty surgical team includes physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses and other medical professionals experienced in caring for children. The pediatricians at our hospital provide your child with compassionate, personalized care in a comfortable, family-friendly environment—all focused on a healthy outcome and speedy recovery for your child.

Read below for more information about how to prepare your child for surgery

Before surgery

Your child's pediatrician will refer you to an appropriate surgeon and set up a consultation. During this meeting, the surgeon will examine your child, provide a diagnosis and discuss the surgical procedure. The surgeon's office staff will coordinate a preadmission visit, including a meeting with an anesthesiologist. Let the hospital staff know if you need help with language translation, sign language interpretation or telecommunication (TDD or TTY) devices.

When you come to the hospital for the preadmission visit, you'll:

  • Complete registration paperwork if you didn't preregister online
  • Provide information about your child's medical and immunization history
  • Talk with a nurse to discuss the procedure
  • Meet with an anesthesiologist who will answer any of your questions concerning your child's surgery and pain management options
  • Tour the hospital areas involved in your child's hospital stay

In addition, your child will have any lab work or diagnostic testing done prior to surgery.

If your child comes down with an illness—even a cold—before surgery, contact the surgeon to determine whether the procedure will need to be rescheduled.

Eating and drinking restrictions

Children from infancy to age 12 may have liquids up to two hours before surgery. Children ages 13-18 may have liquids up to four hours before surgery. For all children, medications may be taken with sips of water.

Solid food should not be eaten after midnight on the night before surgery. Medications taken with food should be delayed until after surgery.

To protect your child's health, surgery may need to be rescheduled if these instructions are not followed.

Day of surgery

Bring your personal identification, insurance card, a list of your child's medications and dosages (including supplements, herbal preparations and vitamins), a summary of drug allergies and any advance directives.

A member of the healthcare team will review information, such as the estimated time of surgery and recovery and accompany you to the waiting room. After surgery, the surgeon will meet with you. Then, you'll be taken to your child's recovery room where you'll have a chance to ask any additional questions.


We encourage you to be present when your child awakens from surgery. The team will talk with you about pain management and provide discharge instructions. If an overnight stay is required, your child will be transferred to our pediatric unit.

Learn more about preparing for surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.