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Plymouth Paediatric Orthopaedics


Will it hurt?

Depending on your operation, you may experience some discomfort. We aim to make you as comfortable as possible, and have plenty of options for achieving this.

Will I feel sick?

It is not common to feel sick, but if you do, we can give you medicines to help stop it.

When can I eat and drink before my operation?

You should not eat for 6 hours before your operation, but you are allowed clear fluids (water or weak squash) up until 2 hours before hand.

Why can’t I eat and drink?

If you have food in your stomach, there is a risk that while you are asleep, you could aspirate it into your airways, making you very unwell.

How long will I be off school?

It depends very much on the type of operation that you are due to have. Your surgical team will discuss this with you and your parents prior to your operation. We aim to minimise the impact of your operation on your schooling as much as possible.

How do you do the operation and how long does the operation take?

This will all be explained to you and your parents both in the clinic when the decision to operate is made, and also on the day of surgery as part of the consenting process.

Can Mum and Dad stay with me if I have to stay in hospital over night?

Yes. A lot of the operations that we perform do not require you to stay overnight. If you do however, Mum or Dad can usually stay on a bed next to you.

How do you send me to sleep?

Our anaesthetists will discuss this with you and your parents on the day of surgery. You will normally be able to watch a DVD on our iPads as you drift off to sleep.

Can Mum and Dad come with me into the anaesthetic room?

One parent is allowed into the anaesthetic room until you are fast asleep. They will then be taken back to the waiting lounge by one of our nurses to relax while you have your operation.

Can Mum and Dad come into the operating theatre while I have my operation?

No. They are very close by though and will be back by your side when you wake up.

Can I bring a cuddly toy/blanket with me?

Yes. A small toy or blanket is fine.

Will I have a plaster, how long will it be on for and if so, can I choose the colour?

Again this depends on the operation that you are having, but will be discussed in detail with you by the surgical team. If we plan to use a synthetic cast, then you will usually be given a choice of colours.

Can I keep the plaster after it has been taken off?

No. They are usually pretty smelly by the time they come off, so go straight into the bin!

Does my metalwork need to come out?

Temporary wires used to treat fractures, can often be removed easily in the fracture clinic, without the need for a general anaesthetic. Plates, screws and other implants often do not require removal, but this will be discussed with you by your surgeon.

Can I keep the plates and screws that are taken out of me?

No. For legal reasons, we must dispose of them safely.

When can I start playing sports again?

We aim to get you back to your sporting activities as soon as is safely possible. Although this is frustrating, it’s worth remembering that even international sporting stars occasionally require time off to allow their injuries to heal properly.

Will I need crutches or a wheel chair?

If your surgeon doesn’t want you to put your full weight on your leg after the operation, you will be shown how to use crutches. If you can’t manage them, you may need to use a wheel chair for a brief time.

Why do I have to remove my body piercings?

If left in place, they may injure you or members of staff while you are asleep.

Why can I not wear make up?

Make up can prevent us from checking how well you’re being oxygenated whilst you’re asleep. Nail varnish on your fingers stops the pulse oximeter working, and lipstick stops us checking the natural colour of your lips.