You are here

The Day Before Surgery

Preparing for the Day Before Surgery

The day before your child’s surgery, you will be contacted by a nurse from the Ambulatory Surgical Unit (ASU) to confirm your time of surgery, the time that you should arrive at the hospital, as well as the room number that you should go to first. We ask that you arrive 1 ½ to 2 hours before the scheduled surgery time.. 

Please make sure to remove all jewelry. If your child wears hair bands, make sure they do not contain any metal.  

When to Stop Eating and Drinking Before Surgery:


  •  “NPO” - means “nothing by mouth”.
  • It is important for your child to stop eating and drinking before the scheduled procedure or surgery at the time you are told.
  • Your child cannot have food, chew gum, or have candy after midnight the night before surgery.


  • Your child may have 8 ounces of clear fluids (about 1 cup) up to 3 hours before their surgery.
  • They cannot drink anything else after the 3 hour mark.

For example:

  • If your child’s surgery is scheduled at 1:00 pm, he or she may have up to 8 ounces of clear fluids no later than10:00 am.
  • “Clear fluid” – clear fluid is fluid without pulp and will allow newspaper to be read clearly when it is placed behind a glass of the fluid.
  • Some examples are: apple juice, water, pedialyte, white grape juice, or ginger ale.
  • Formula fed babies may have a bottle up to 7 hours before surgery.
  • Breastfed babies may nurse up to 5 hours before surgery.

Please let us know as soon as possible if your child ate or drank at a time they shouldn’t have. It is very important for your child’s safety.

Pack a Bag the Night Before

Have your child wear comfortable clothes. Many younger children seem to enjoy coming here in their pajamas, especially when you have to arrive very early in the morning.

Your child may bring a special small stuffed animal, blanket, or comfort item into the operating room with them.

Although we have some activities available in the waiting room, feel free to bring a favorite book, toy, handheld game or electronic device with you. It helps to have something handy to pass any waiting time you may have.

For younger children, it may be helpful to bring their bottle or favorite cup from home to encourage drinking for after surgery.

Checklist For the Day of Surgery

Feel free to print this page and fill out the information as a reminder for your child’s day.

     Surgery Time:______________________

     Arrival Time: _______________________

     No Eating After: ____________________

     No Drinking After: ___________________

     Paperwork / forms

     Comfort Item

     Favorite Cup

     Overnight Bag (if staying)


We want to make your child’s stay as pleasant as possible. Feel free to call if we can be of any help.

Helpful Phone Numbers:  

  • Pre-Surgical Testing: 718-470-3937
  • Admitting Office : 718-470-3190
  • Admitting Fax : 718-470-9778
  • Anesthesia Office : 718- 470-7390
  • Child Life Office : 718-470-3005
  • Pediatric Ambulatory Surgical Unit : 718-470-3100

Back to Top