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Swinging Through Surgery

STSAt North Kansas City Hospital, we want kids to have the best possible experience before, during and after their surgery. Our Swinging Through Surgery pre-surgery program for children can even make it a fun and exciting adventure.

Welcome to the Jungle

Once scheduled for surgery, your child will receive an invitation to a Jungle Party held in a special jungle room. In this fun atmosphere, children see hands-on demonstrations of surgery equipment and meet surgery staff dressed in surgery scrubs. They learn what to bring, what will happen and how they might feel—and they’ll go home with a special jungle bag of goodies. The party is also a good opportunity for parents to ask surgery staff any questions about their child’s surgery.

Getting Ready

Here are some things your child should do to prepare for surgery:

  • Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Take a bath using antibacterial soap the night before, or morning of, surgery.
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing (and bring an extra pair of undies).
  • Have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket ready to bring with you.

What to Bring

Bring whatever helps your child feel comfortable and secure, including:

  • Your favorite stuffed animal or blanket
  • Socks (sometimes the floor of the jungle is cold!)
  • Bottle with formula or a sippy cup

At the Hospital

The jungle theme continues on the day of surgery. After checking in, your child starts in the village, just outside the jungle. After picking a surgery buddy (panda, monkey, tiger or elephant), he or she gets to drive a safari jeep into the surgery area.

After Surgery

Immediately after the surgery:

  • You’ll be directed to a recovery room where your child will be brought to recover.
  • Your surgeon will talk with you about how your child’s procedure went and what the next steps will be.
  • Your child will be monitored by the nursing staff who will tell you when it’s time to go home and provide discharge information.

It’s important for your child to get plenty of rest after surgery. Help him understand that even if he starts feeling better, his body needs to take it easy. Provide books, videos, coloring books, whatever helps keep his activity level down for as long as his doctor recommends.

For ear, nose and throat surgeries, it’s a good idea to have these things ready for the return home:

  • Jello, popsicles (any color except red)
  • Pain reliever (Tylenol, Motrin, Advil or ibuprofen.)
  • Ice packs
  • Sprite or 7up
  • Gum (sugar free is best!)
  • Milkshake ingredients (but don’t use a straw)
  • A towel to cover your pillow (trips to the jungle can make you drool)
  • Don’t plan to drink citrus drinks like orange juice after surgery.

Your doctor will give you other specific instructions for after-surgery care. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully.

Come to the Jungle Party

Our fun and informational jungle parties are held the first and third Thursday of each month at the Health Services Pavilion on the

North Kansas City Hospital campus. View a map

For more information or to register, call 816-691-1344.

Scheduled for Surgery?

Pre-register online to save time the day of your procedure. 

Preparing for Surgery

  • Swinging Through Surgery