FAQ: Pediatric Surgery

Here are answers to common questions about your child’s surgery.

Call us immediately. Eating or drinking anything before surgery could affect your child’s safety.

  • Before 5:30 p.m., call us at 503-418-5303.
  • After 5:30 p.m., call 503-494-8311 and ask for the on-call pediatric anesthesiologist.

Learn about eating and drinking restrictions before surgery.

Call us right away.

  • Before 4:30 p.m., call your surgeon’s clinic.
  • After 4:30 p.m., call 503-418-5600.

Your child may go home the same day or need to spend a few days in the hospital. Your surgeon will let you know what to expect during your pre-operative visit.

Our hospital doesn’t allow parents or guardians to be in the operating room when their child is given anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will visit with you before your child goes to the operating room to explain your child’s anesthesia plan. This is a great time for you and your child to ask questions.

Before going to the operating room, your child may be given medicine to help them relax.

It depends on the complexity of the surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you how long it’s expected to take. Times can change if an earlier surgery lasts longer than expected or if your surgeon is called to an emergency.

A color-coded tracker board in the waiting room lets you know when your child is in surgery and when they’re in recovery. Each child gets a special code number to keep you informed at all times.

If you leave the waiting room, you can enter the code into our online surgical wait board to stay informed.

You’ll also get a pager that works anywhere in the hospital. One of our team members will text you with updates during surgery.

You’ll be reunited with your child as soon as it's safe to do so. We keep the time you are separated as short as possible.

Your child will be in the recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. Then we will move your child to a hospital patient room.

We encourage you to stay with your child. Our patient rooms have an extra single bed for you to sleep in.

You can go to the room as soon as it becomes available. This is often not until after surgery.

Siblings cannot spend the night and are not allowed in surgical areas. We ask that you make child-care plans for your other children on the day of surgery. 

Doernbecher offers free Wi-Fi access, so cellphones and laptops can be used throughout the hospital, including lobbies, patient rooms and waiting rooms.

No. There may be children waiting for procedures or surgery who aren’t allowed to eat or drink. This is also important for infection prevention. We have many other places where you can eat at the hospital.

For families

Call 503-346-0640 to

  • Request an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions


Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
700 S.W. Campus Drive, eighth floor
Portland, OR 97239

Map and directions

Refer a patient