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Before having general anaesthetic

A general anaesthetic means that your child will be given medicine to put them to sleep. They will not feel or remember the treatment. It can take up to 24 hours to recover from the effects of a general anaesthetic.

What should I do?

Please arrange for transport for your child to go home afterwards by either a car or taxi. Going home on the bus is not suitable.

If your child develops a cold or illness please contact the children’s team, as we may need to rearrange your surgery date.

Please remove any make up (including nail polish) and jewellery from your child.


Do not give your child any food or drink, including milk after 3am on the day of your child’s surgery. This includes chewing gum and sweets. They are allowed small sips of water only. 

What happens when we arrive?

You and your child will be introduced to the anaesthetist and surgeon, who will explain your child’s treatment and answer any questions that you might have.

You will be asked to sign your child’s consent to treatment form.

What happens after my child’s surgery?

Your child will be assessed in the recovery room. It is best for us to let your child wake up gradually, so do not be alarmed if they are in recovery for half an hour or more. As soon as they start to wake up you can be with your child in recovery. They will then be transferred back to their ward.

To begin with, they might be drowsy or a bit sore. Pain relieving medication is available if they need it.

As soon as your child feels well enough, a drink and then some light food will be offered to them.

When can we go home?

As soon as your child is feeling well, and tolerating food and drink, you will be able to go home. You should not to use public transport.

You will be advised on all aspects of aftercare and contact numbers for medical assistance will be given to you.

What happens at home?

Please follow the advice specific to your child’s surgery.

Encourage your child to drink and eat food as normal.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ophthalmology Team on 0114 271 7000 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: EYE33

Resource Type: Article

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Sheffield Children’s Ophthalmology Team

0114 2717000

Bleep 250

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

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