print this page

Preparing Your Teenager for Surgery





Teens may have questions and concerns about anesthesia and how they will be able to stay “asleep” and not feel pain. 

  • Reassure them that the anesthesiologist is always with them and will give them continuous anesthesia until the surgery is over. 


Teens may worry about body-image and privacy. 


  • Reassure them that you and the hospital staff will do everything they can to respect their privacy.


They may worry about needles and pain after surgery. 

  • Reassure them that in the recovery room there will be medicine available to help keep them comfortable, and, if necessary, ones to use at home.


  • Your surgeon’s office and the pre-operative nurses who will call you before the surgery will be able to answer specific questions.  Encourage your teen to ask the staff their questions. 



Teens are more able to fully understand the process of what will be happening. 

  • It will be very important for them to understand what will happen and the long-term benefits (and any lingering effects) of the surgery.  


  • It will be important for them to take part in decision-making and any discussions that you will have with the surgeons and nursing staff. 


  • Encourage them to ask any questions that they may have to either you or to the medical staff.


  • Your teen may want to bring to the hospital familiar items such as a book, a handheld game or device for playing their favorite music.  


  • Some teens may find it helpful to record their thoughts and feelings in a journal. 


  • Encourage them to prepare for the hospital experience by reading.


Here is a list of books you and your teenager may want to read about coming to this hospital.  While they may be great ways to help your child learn about general things associated with a hospital experience, you will need to be careful about the specifics they may contain.  Some of the things we do here at Baystate Children’s Hospital may differ from some of the things in these books.  It may be best to get correct information from your surgeon, the nurses who will call you, or sign up for the hospital tour program.


Prepare for Surgery/Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston


Coping with a Hospital Stay by Sharon Carter and Judy Monnig


Hospital Smarts by Theodore Tyberg and Kenneth Rothaus