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General surgical procedure


If your child is having a surgical procedure, please take the time to read the following
information and ask the nurses or your doctor if you have any questions.

How long will it take?

Most minor surgical operations take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This includes the anaesthetic, operation and time spent in the recovery room. Your child will need to stay in the Day Unit for approximately one to two hours following surgery.

When can my child eat and drink again?

If your child is awake on return to the ward, they can have clear fluids and a light diet. Breast and bottle fed babies can resume normal feeding.

Care at home

Pain relief

  • Upon returning home, your child can have paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) for pain or discomfort as advised at the time of discharge.
  • Give other pain relief medicine only if advised.
  • Do not give aspirin.

Diet and fluids

Your child may eat and drink normally.


It is not uncommon for children to vomit on the night of the operation. If your child is vomiting, give sips of clear fluids, try a piece of dry toast or a cracker biscuit and increase the amounts as tolerated until their vomiting settles. If vomiting continues after 24 hours seek medical advice.


Remove dressing as advised.


Swimming is allowed after seven days or as instructed by your surgeon.

Points to remember

  • Minor surgery usually requires admission for the day only.
  • Vigorous play or contact sport should be avoided as advised.
  • Your child may return to school if feeling well or as advised by your doctor.
  • Take child to your GP or go to your nearest Emergency Department if there is excess vomiting, persistent high temperatures or excessive pain not relieved by paracetamol or if you have concerns about the operation site.

Please note: This is general guide only, please follow your doctor’s specific instructions regarding return to school, sport and wound care.

Follow up visit

An appointment will be either given to you when your child is discharged or posted out to you.

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building,

Raymond Terrace,

South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111



Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470016
Last modified 28/4/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 23/10/2019
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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