Helping teens prepare for surgery

What to Bring

This list was created by teens on Children’s Youth Advisory Council

  • Comfortable clothes. You will change into hospital pajamas for surgery, but it’s nice to have loose comfortable clothes while you are recovering and for the trip home. Many teens prefer to bring their favorite slippers, socks, or pajamas.
  • Your own pillow or blanket…whatever helps you sleep.
  • Toiletries. Children’s provides the necessary toiletries, but you may prefer your own. It’s okay to bring them.
  • Snacks/money. If your stay is going to be for a few days or longer bring your favorite snacks and some money for snacks or the gift shop.
  • Something from home that you might want to take to surgery. Everybody knows what his or her special thing is. Footballs, teddy bears, blankets, photographs, dream catchers, you name it. And that’s the point- whatever you think would be right, is. (As long as it isn’t alive or edible!)
  • Entertainment. There are lots of things to do during your stay: movies, video game systems, magazines, etc. You know what you like to do so bring what keeps you busy. Here are some examples from teens that have had their own experiences at Children’s:
    • CDs and CD player
    • Movies
    • Games
    • Music
    • Books
    • Deck of cards
    • Crafts or box of art supplies
    • Puzzles
    • Remember to mark your stuff with your name to help keep it safe.
  • Friends or family phone numbers and addresses. Each patient care room has a private phone for your use.
  • A camera (if you like). Remember to respect the privacy of others when taking pictures. Please do not include other patients, families, or staff in pictures without their permission.
  • A list of medicines you take, and any allergies you have.
  • If you wear contacts–bring solution, a lens case, and your glasses. (You will need to take out your contacts for surgery.
  • Other special medical equipment, for example; hearing aides, wheelchair, or special orthopedic braces.
  • Questions for the hospital health care team. It’s a good idea to write these down ahead of time.


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


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.


At Children’s Minnesota, we know how important reliable information about conditions and illnesses is.