Day Surgery

Day surgery information

  • Time of arrival

    Arriving at Day Surgery on time is important in order for all the health professionals to see your child. If you are running late or if you are not able to come to the hospital, please ring the nurse's station on 9345 6570 or the DSC admissions clerk on 9345 5385.

    What to bring with you

    • Medicare card
    • Concession or health care care (if applicable)
    • Private health insurance details (if applicable)
    • Maternal and child health book
    • Details about your GP, name, address and contact number
    • Medical equipment or disability aids
    • All current medications especially if your child is epileptic or asthmatic
    • Loose fitting pyjamas, short sleeve nightie or T-shirt and boxer shorts (no tracksuit)
    • Change of clothes and slippers
    • Your child's favourite toys, books or games
    • One bottle of formula/milk (if appropriate)
    • Pram/pusher
    • No makeup, nail polish or jewellery


    We ask that parents/caregivers remain with their child at all times. Where possible, alternative arrangements should be made for your other children unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example breast feeding infants. Contact 9345 6795 for more information regarding day care for your other children.

    What to expect

    On arrival to Day Surgery, an admission clerk will check your child in via the computer system.

    Prior to your child's surgery, a nurse will admit your child and inform you of what to expect for the day. Your child will also be seen by an anaesthetist and surgeon on the day.

    Your child will be admitted as they appear in order on the theatre list. This is usually organised in age order. There are 8 theatres and 2 procedure rooms operating at any one time, therefore not all children are waiting on the one doctor.

    Your child's admission time is not the time your child goes to theatre. Waiting time may be 1 to 6 hours before your child is called for theatre. On some occasions, due to unexpected emergencies this waiting time can be longer or your child's surgery may be cancelled for that day. If it is anticipated that you may be waiting for a period of time you may be offered a parent's pager which will allow you and your child to leave the Day of Surgery Centre and go for a walk within the hospital.

    Following your child's procedure, we expect that they will be able to go home 30min - 1.5hours after returning to the ward. It may be required that your child stay longer depending on their type of procedure or their recovery.

    Prior to discharge you will be given verbal and written instructions detailing your child's care at home. You may also be contacted the day after your child's surgery regarding their progress.


    For anaesthetic safety your child must not have anything to eat (includes chewing gum) or drink after the specified time, otherwise the procedure may be cancelled or delayed. Medicines that are due should be given with their last drink. Please fast as arranged.

    The following guidelines are issued by the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management of The Royal Children's Hospital concerning fasting for all patient's, whether surgical or medical, undergoing a general anaesthetic or sedation. Morning surgery: Your child must fast from 0230, this includes NO milk, food, lollies or chewing gum. Clear fluids such as water, cordial or apple juice can be given up until 0630. It is a good idea to wake your child in time to have fluids on the day of surgery. Afternoon surgery: Your child must fast from 0730, this includes NO milk, food, lollies or chewing gum. Clear fluids such as water, cordial or apple juice can be given up until 1130. It is a good idea to wake your child in time to have a light breakfast on the day of surgery. Emergency surgery and anaesthesia patients should be fasted from first contact until further instructions from the duty anaesthetist.

    Travel arrangements

    The hospital recommends that public transport not be used following a general anaesthetic as dizzy spells or vomiting may occur. Families who live outside the metropolitan area are advised to stay in Melbourne the previous night if surgery is in the morning and the night following surgery if the surgery is in the afternoon. We can provide a list of accommodation if required. However, Rydges (03 9329 1788), Cnr Harker St and Flemington Rd North Melbourne is most conveniently located just opposite the hospital.


    We suggest you explain to your child what will happen in hospital in simple language and stress the following:

    • they will have a short sleep for their procedure
    • they will stay only a short time in hospital
    • you will remain close by while they are in the Day of Surgery Centre and that you will take them home.

    Books about "hospitals" would be useful in preparing your child. Contact the Resource Centre for Child Health and Safety (CHAS) at 9345 6429 for more information.

    Pre-Admission Resource Centre

    The Pre-Admission Resource Centre (PARC) is available at RCH is to assist children and their families in being adequately prepared for elective surgery. We encourage you and your child to contact PARC if you have questions regarding your child's surgery or would like to visit the hospital prior to admission. The purpose of these visits is to prepare you and your child for your day stay. A book called "I am having an Anaesthetic" is available on request from the Day of Surgery Centre, you may find this book helps your child to understand what will happen throughout the day of their surgery. The slideshow   "Just for the Day" will also help answer any questions you may have. Please contact the  Pre-Admission Resource Centre on 9345 4115 to arrange a pre-admission visit. You are welcome to visit the Day of Surgery Centre between 9am - 6pm Monday - Friday.

    Car parking

    See the Car Parking page in the Guide to RCH for parking information.

    Parents tea room

    Tea and coffee are provided. Food and drinks may only be consumed in the tea room. For safety reasons hot drinks are not permitted in the ward area and where children are playing.


    The hospital does not accept responsibility for loss of items. Please keep your essential valuables with you at all times.

    Mobile phones

    These phones will be required to be switched off as they interfere with electronic medical equipment.

    On discharge

    We recommend a light snack or drink in the initial period after the anaesthetic because of the risk of vomiting. Verbal and written instructions will be given regarding care at home. A follow-up appointment will be organised at time of discharge. We may contact you the day after the procedure regarding your child's progress. Your feedback at this time will also give us an opportunity to discuss ways to improve our services.

    Code of Conduct

    The Royal Children's Hospital is committed to improving the health care available to children.  In furtherance of this aim, the Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Management, Staff and Volunteers of The Royal Children's Hospital shall each strive to ensure that in performing their duties they adhere to the code of conduct.