UC Davis Children’s Hospital
UC Davis Children’s Hospital
UC Davis Children's Surgery Center

World-renowned pediatric surgeons at UC Davis Children’s Hospital provide expert surgical care, treating a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions in infants, children and adolescents.

Children who undergo surgery at UC Davis are treated in our state-of the- art children’s surgery center, specifically designed for the unique needs of children.

Our multidisciplinary surgical teams perform surgeries from basic to complex, using conventional and minimally invasive techniques in:

  • Pediatric general surgery
  • Neonatal surgery
  • Pediatric thoracic and cardiothoracic surgery
  • Pediatric surgical oncology

Our mission statement »

When you arrive, go to the reception area. You will meet with administrative staff who will help you begin the check-in process.

You will need to bring:

  • A valid form of identification: U.S. driver’s license, a DMV identification card, U.S. passport, or US military identification card
  • Your UC Davis Health System insurance card.
  • You'll be filling out paperwork upon arrival.
  • You will pay your co-pay at this time.
  • Your child will receive the necessary wristbands: two for identification and security and one for allergies, if necessary.

Children's Surgery Center receptionAfter you’ve checked in, you and your child can sit and enjoy the large waiting room.The waiting room has plenty of activities and toys, such as race tracks, movies, and even a Nintendo Wii, to occupy and distract your child, while allowing you to all sit and spend some time together before the procedure.

The waiting room will also be available for you while your child is undergoing surgery. When it’s time, a registered nurse or child life specialist will find you in the waiting room and take both of you to a pre-op room.

When it’s time to get ready for surgery, you and your child will meet a number of specialists in your room who will help prepare both of you in different ways:

  • The pre-op nurse will check your child’s vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate, pulse, etc.) and do a physical assessment, and make the proper notations on the chart.
  • The child life specialist will help prepare your child with procedural play exercises, to help him or her understand what will happen and make the process as positive as possible.
  • The pediatric anesthesiologist will discuss the anesthesia process with you and your child: What anesthesia will do, how it will be administered, and how long your child may be affected by it after the treatment. You’ll discuss the possible need for medication, or “happy juice,” to help your child to relax before the anesthesia is administered. The anesthesiologist will accompany your child into the operating room for the duration of their treatment.
  • The operating room nurse will introduce themselves and confirm surgery.
  • The surgeon will also introduce themselves and answer any questions you have about the surgery.

The goal of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy program is to help minimize the stress and anxiety of hospitalization and to strengthen the coping skills of the hospitalized child and the family, both before and after treatment. The Children’s Surgery Center has a child life specialist staffed solely to help your child throughout pre-op and then during recovery. For example, a child life specialist may use medical play puppets and actual medical equipment to explain the procedures and surgery that the child is about to undergo. This helps to provide understanding, reassurance and emotional support to the child as well as to the family.

Child life therapist working with patientThe child life specialist may also visit with siblings or other family members to help them understand the hospital environment and ease the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment. Download the “Welcome to UC Davis” coloring book — Davis the Monkey and his friends will walk you through the process and help you get ready.

If your child is especially anxious and would benefit from a pre-operative tour led by a certified child life specialist, please e-mail Ginger Layton at ginger.layton@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

Learn more about the Child Life Program »

You can accompany your child as far as the entrance to the operating room hallway. You can then return to the waiting room. Plan to stay for the duration; bring a book, music or a movie to pass the time. If you need food or coffee, we recommend getting some right after your child has gone into the operating room, so that you are available when the surgeon comes out to discuss how your child’s surgery went.

Hospital visitor information »

After the surgery, you can meet your child in the recovery room. Here, your child will be regularly examined by the nursing staff and physicians to ensure that your child is comfortable and that recovery is continuing as it should. Your child will remain in the recovery room until they are recovered from the anesthesia and discharged to go home; if admission to the hospital is required, your child will go to a regular hospital bed when it is available.

patient care after surgeryIf an overnight admission to the hospital is necessary, a parent or guardian is encouraged to stay overnight. Each room is equipped with a chair that will turn into a bed for an overnight stay. If you are planning to stay with your child overnight, you should bring appropriate overnight supplies, such as extra clothing and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Before leaving the Children’s Surgery Center, your child will be examined by an anesthesiologist. If your child is being discharged from the recovery room, you will be provided with all the information you need, such as discharge instructions and contact phone numbers for both day and overnight, for a continued, safe recuperation at home.