Coming for surgery

  • If you are bringing your child to The Royal Children's Hospital for any surgical procedure, you will come to Reception J - Surgery, located in the East Building on Level 3 - Tree Tops, via the yellow lifts.

    The RCH Guide provides plenty of useful information about preparing your child, and what to bring for their hospital stay.

    The medical staff caring for your child on the day of surgery will make every effort to ensure that their stay with us is as comfortable as possible.

    Have you received a SMS with a date for surgery? Please follow the instructions below.

    1. Confirm or reorganise a surgery date, call the surgical team on (03) 9345 6182 (press 1).
    2. Two days before the procedure, please call the pre-admission clinic on (03) 9345 4193 to confirm that your child is well.  The preadmission clinic is open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Please note the clinic is unable to accept calls after 12:00pm.


    It is important that your child does not eat or drink anything for a number of hours before the procedure. If your child has something to eat or drink, it may cause the operation to be delayed or cancelled. It is a good idea to wake your child in time to have some clear fluids on the day of surgery.


    You may cancel surgery on one occasion only. If you defer your child’s surgery date a second time, she/he could be removed from the surgical waiting list.

    • Failure to confirm will result in your surgery date being offered to another child.
    • Failure to attend surgery will result in your child being removed from the waiting list.
    • On occasion, beds are required for emergency admissions. Should this occur, another date will be arranged for your child's procedure.

    Frequently asked questions

    What time will my child have the procedure?

    You will experience a wait prior to going into theatre.  The length of this wait can vary considerably. It is a good idea to bring toys, books or games to help pass the time. 

    What should I bring?

    • Your Medicare card, X-rays/scans, regular medication(s) & any paperwork you have been given.
    • For overnight admissions: clean pyjamas, toiletries, and nappies if required.
    • Your child's favourite comfort object, e.g. dummy, teddy bear, blanket, etc.
    • Dress your child in loose, comfortable clothes and bring a spare change of clothes.
    • Make sure your child has showered or bathed and has brushed  their teeth.
    • Ensure your child is not wearing any makeup, jewellery or nail polish.
    • Please organise alternative care for your other children. 
    • If your child is usually on formula feeds, please bring your first two bottles ready to give to your child in recovery immediately post-surgery. Please note in some instances your child may not be allowed to feed at this time due to the type of surgery your child has had.

    Can my child still take regular medications?

    Continue regular oral medications at their usual time unless otherwise requested by your doctor.

    Medications can be taken with a sip of clear fluid.

    IMPORTANT - Two weeks before the procedure, discontinue use of 'Nurofen' (Ibuprofen), fish oil, vitamins, herbal remedies and any other alternative medicines, unless you have been advised otherwise by the treating unit.

    Can I stay with my child on the ward?

    If an overnight admission is planned, one parent is welcome to stay on the ward. Please note, the ward will be able to accommodate only one parent or guardian. Unfortunately siblings are not able to stay on the ward.

    What if my child's condition changes?

    If your child develops an infection, high temperature, and/or a cold  please contact us as soon as possible on (03) 9345 4193.

    Travel and parking

    Driving to your appointment?

    Car parking is easy at the RCH with additional spaces now open at 48 Flemington Rd, adjoining the hospital.  For details visit car parking.

    Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS)

    If you live more than 100km away from the hospital, you may be eligible for travel and accommodation assistance from the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).

    Claim forms are available from the RCH’s Family Hub, clinic desks and Main Street Reception, or you can download the form here.

    Your medical specialist will need to complete some sections of the form before you can claim.

    Equivalent schemes are available in each state for interstate residents.

    For more information, ask a RCH staff member or visit the Department of Health website.