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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD having a minor op on Monday and I'm terrified

(37 Posts)
4PlusMum Sat 15-Feb-14 20:25:09

Just that really.

It is to correct an umbilical hernia that she's had since she was a few weeks old. She's now almost 4 and we've waited this long in the hope it would correct itself, which it hasn't. It shows through her ballet dress, swimming costume etc. and I have seen kids pointing it out in the changing room, so I'm sure she'll want it done when she's older if we don't do it now, but we've decided to get it out of the way before she starts school.

But I feel so worried that something will go wrong and I'm not sure it's worth the risk for something that is largely cosmetic but could cause her problems in the future.

headinhands Sat 15-Feb-14 20:34:57

Hi Mum, it's completely and utterly normal to feel how you do. When my ds had a minor op all the professionals we came into contact with, from auxiliary staff to student nurse through to anaesthetist were all lovely and were very well versed in supporting emotional parents. Your baby will be in very good hands as will you.

Deb2202 Sat 15-Feb-14 20:58:39

I felt the same when we chose for ds1 to have tongue tie corrected under GA at 18 months. We sort of knew it was the right thing to do but when it actually came to it I was in bits.

You can't really get more minor than snipping a tongue tie I wouldn't of thought but it's just your instinct to worry (it was the thought of the GA I think).

On the day the staff were brilliant, talked us through everything and the op when fine, which is what will happen for you!

Twighlightsparkle Sat 15-Feb-14 21:00:47

I know the feeling, there's not much as I can say to help, try and keep yourself busy this weekend. When you get to the hospital your mums instinct and adrenalin will keep you strong.

By Monday evening you will feel so relieved

4PlusMum Sat 15-Feb-14 21:23:19

Thanks everyone. I just hope I don't cry in front of DD because that will upset her the most. And also trying to figure out what to say to her on Monday about what is going to happen. She doesn't know anything about it.

BeaWheesht Sat 15-Feb-14 22:03:42

Ds has just turned 7 and had an operation under GA a few weeks ago - my top tip would be to be entirely honest with her about what's going to happen. I'm surprised the ward haven't had you in for a pre OP ward tour.

Take in lots of things to occupy her until he goes down for the OP and some of we favourite light foods for afterwards.

Blu Sat 15-Feb-14 22:14:57

My DS has had 11 GAs from age 11m - 11yrs.

It will all be fine - kids take these things in their stride and parents are far more nervous etc.

I would be very matter of fact. Mention it tomorrow morning as if it Monday is going to be a normal day with the addition of a trip to the hospital to have her tummy button mended so it doesn't stick out and get I the way.

Explain calmly and matter of factly that she will wear a hospital nightie, she will have her own special hospital bed that goes up and down and she and her teddy can be in. That a doctor will give her some special gas to breathe and it will make her ho to sleep. While she is asleep all she will know is that she is having a good sleep. The doctors will mend her tummy button and then when she wakes up it will all be done.

It might feel a tiny bit sore, just like a knee feels sore when she falls over, but if it does they will give her some medicine to stop it feeling sore.

And you must remain calm and matter of fact.

You will cry when you leave her after the anaesthetic, everyone does, every time. But until then you are on duty as calm matter of fact parent.

And don't over-reassure. Re-assuring them just makes them think there is something bad that they need to be re-assured about.

Good luck, I hope it all goes smoothly.

4PlusMum Sat 15-Feb-14 23:05:32

I haven't actually had any information from the hospital so I don't know what to tell her. I may try to call them tomorrow to find out how it works. The website talks about wearing own clothes and walking into theatre etc. and I'm kind of hoping that they'd knock her out with gas before she really knows what is happening.

Paintyfingers Sun 16-Feb-14 00:25:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paintyfingers Sun 16-Feb-14 00:30:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paintyfingers Sun 16-Feb-14 00:31:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 16-Feb-14 00:36:10

Hi 4Plus. My DD is having the op for umbilical hernia in 10 days time. Actually, it's not just for cosmetic reasons. If you leave it untreated there's a risk that the intestine could get trapped and damaged. The consultant told me that it would be a big problem if in the future she gets pregnant. And hers is quite a minor hernia - it just looks like a slightly bulging 'outtie'.

My DD is older - she's 6 - and I've told her the basics of what's going to happen, and she's fine about it. She's very happy that she's going to have 4 days off school!

What I told her was that she has a little gap in her tummy button that the doctors are going to sew up, so that she'll have a really nice neat tummy button. I've promised that my face will be the first thing she sees when she wakes up.

My concern is about how to stop her jumping and climbing about, as I'm told she has to avoid exercise (no PE) for six weeks.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Blu Sun 16-Feb-14 10:35:09

Have they told you about the last times for food and water?

DeWe Sun 16-Feb-14 14:04:23

Ds has just had his third grommets op.
What they do (at his hospital) is arrive at paed ward. The nurse comes to talk them through it (play therapy) and put magic cream on (for drip insertion) their hands, and do basic checks.
They then go and play and get interrupted for the surgeon and anaesthetist to come and get consent forms signed, a quick check over and talk to the child.
They then go to the theatre as a ride in their bed (wearing own clothes). They then sit on you for insertion of drip, and then are asked to lie on the theatre bed and they get them to play a game of blowing up the balloon though the mask-which half way through they switch to the gas.

They may not let you back in the room for them to wake up. I haven't any time. All three times ds has had to come round properly before I've been let in. They may sometimes but don't promise it please. They said they thought I could be in this time, but I wasn't allowed in straight away-I think his blood pressure was a bit low and they wanted that to correct first.

You do need to find out what time she can eat until. You may want to do a midnight feast. That was the best bit for ds!

And please tell her before you go. If you don't, then you're risking her worrying that every time you take her somewhere you'll be going back to hospital. And tell her it will be sore when she wakes up, not "it will be better" because to her it will probably feel worse initially.

4PlusMum Sun 16-Feb-14 18:54:48

Thanks you so much for all your kind messages. I have managed to keep it together today and kept extremely busy - cinema, out for lunch, arts and crafts then a play date.

The op isn't until 2pm tomorrow and we don't have to be there until midday so she can have breakfast before 8am and can drink until 2 hours before. I will definitely talk to her in the morning. I wish I knew whether it will be the mask or the cannula for the anasthetic so I could explain which one.

Biscuit, I'll definitely let you know how it goes. DD's hernia is pretty large rather than just an outie - she can sqwidge her intestine through it - but she is very attached to her 'magic belly button'.

Weegiemum Sun 16-Feb-14 19:05:07

My dd2 had a short scan under GA early last year. I was really nervous about it (partly as I had to take her and I'm hospital-phobic!) but it was all fine - I got to stay with her until she went to sleep - and it was all handled beautifully. It wasn't strictly necessary but it was to check that a degenerative hip condition had sorted itself out. They use her scan to teach junior docs now (it was recorded).

It's scary watching your child be anaesthetised but the folks doing it are all going to be brilliant.

mummeeee Sun 16-Feb-14 19:18:41

My dd (5.5) has had multiple surgeries (I've lost count but it must be at least 20).

The advice given by pp's is all good.

The only other thing we've done is watched a few YouTube videos. If you google 'child going for an operation' or similar you'll probably find a few. Some of the children's hospitals make them and put them on their websites. Obviously I watch them first, to make sure of the content but if you find a good one, with a girl of around the same age I think they can be really helpful.

My dd really likes watching and it helps to reassure. You usually see the child with parent arriving, being shown to their bed. Having their pulse taken etc, going to theatre, then coming back. Makes it all nice and ordinary.

I'm on my phone, otherwise I'd find one and link to it.

Am sure it will all go well.

Whereisegg Sun 16-Feb-14 20:26:36

Op, my ds could choose mask or injection when he had an op aged 5.

He really threw the anaesthetist as he chose the needle and he didn't have it prepped as no children ever choose it grin

Paintyfingers Sun 16-Feb-14 20:34:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

4PlusMum Sun 16-Feb-14 20:55:13

Thanks everyone. Stressy row with DH has not helped.

I'll report back tomorrow night when she's safely home and tucked up in bed.

ajandjjmum Sun 16-Feb-14 21:06:21

So feel for you - both you and DH will be stressing, so bound to be short with each other. smile DS (nearly 22) has had over a dozen ops starting from when he was weeks old, and I've cried every time he's gone to theatre - big joke now as you can imagine. After virtually every surgery he's said 'what was I worrying about - it was fine'.
And you're so right to get this sorted now while she is young - far better than leaving it until she is older and more aware.
Roll on this time tomorrow for you!

4PlusMum Sun 16-Feb-14 21:37:59

Thanks AJ. For you and the others who have gone through this thanks

4PlusMum Mon 17-Feb-14 08:21:27

So DD has had a decent breakfast which should keep her going until 2pm and is now nil by mouth except for clear liquids.

I told her once she had finished eating. I said today is the day her ouchy belly button is getting fixed. She said "no, not today" a couple of times and showed me that the hernia is squishy not hard, but I said it had to be fixed today. We saw the Tinkerbell film yesterday and the naughty fairy makes all the fairies in Pixie Hollow fall asleep using poppy dust so I said there would be some magic dust in a mask to make her fall asleep and when she wakes up her belly button will be fixed and have a plaster on it. She said she thought that would hurt and I said it would be like when she falls over and cuts her knees.

.....and then she asked me to turn the telly back on!! And that was that. No crying by either of us, no drama. Fingers crossed the rest of today goes so smoothly.

4PlusMum Mon 17-Feb-14 08:59:41

She's just told the nanny exactly what is happening today, so she did take it in. A bit of confusion about whether I would also be asleep, but she now knows that I will be awake so I can look after her. She is talking about what dreams she might have.

Paintyfingers Mon 17-Feb-14 10:55:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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