Before your child’s surgery

Pre-procedure phone call

You will receive a pre-procedure phone call from Children’s Minnesota surgery staff to review your child’s procedure, including time of arrival, eating and drinking stop times, health history, and medications. If you have not received a call by the day before the surgery, please call the surgery information (nurse line) phone number for your surgery center location:

To-do checklist

Below are requirements for your child’s procedure. Please ensure you have completed all necessary steps prior to surgery.

  • I called my insurance company to ask if I need prior authorization for the procedure or hospital stay. (If you have questions about cost of services or need financial resources, call 952-992-5650.)
  • I scheduled a pre-operative exam with my child’s primary care physician no more than 30 days prior to the procedure date. Download and print a medical history and physical exam form.
  • My child’s primary care physician completed and signed the medical history and physical exam form. Ask the doctor to fax the form to 612-813-7704, and give you a copy to bring on the day of surgery.
  • Urine for pregnancy test (for females 12 years and older, or menstruating) should be done within 7 days before procedure.
  • I pre-registered my child online or called patient registration at 612-813-7900. Please inform them of any special communication (hearing, visual or language) support that is needed.
  • I understand my child’s eating and drinking guidelines and I know when my child should stop eating and drinking before surgery.
  • I asked the surgeon about any special equipment I may need at home after the procedure.
  • I made plans for someone to care for my other children while I’m at Children’s Minnesota.
  • I received the pre-procedure phone call from Children’s Minnesota surgery staff to review my child’s procedure, health history and medications.  Pre-procedure calls start three days before the scheduled surgery date. If you have not received a call by the day before arrival, please call 612-813-6191.
  • I made a list of any medications, vitamins and herbal supplements. (Bring this list on the day of the procedure.)

Resources to help prepare for the procedure

  • Stock up on supplies your child will need after surgery, including any special diet needs or over the counter pain medicine recommended by your doctor.
  • Coordinate with your employer any needed time off.
  • Coordinate with your child’s teacher if your child will be missing school (homework or special needs).
  • Attend a pre-surgery tour. Tours are designed for both parents and children having surgery.
  • Print a surgery coloring book for your child.
  • Explore and print My Surgery Story preparation booklets to help your child know what to expect on the day of surgery.

Child life specialists can also provide helpful information about preparing for surgery. Contact Child Life: Minneapolis: 612-813-6259, St. Paul: 651-220-6465, Minnetonka: 952-930-8600.

Find more surgery resources for parents, kids and teens


To make the check-in process as easy as possible, we encourage patients who have an appointment for Surgery, Radiology (X-Ray) or Special Diagnostics to pre-register online.


Take a tour designed to help patients and family members to learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery day.