Postoperative care

Daystay patients will need to remain on the ward for at least two hours before they can go home. Some children may stay longer if they are feeling sick or need more pain medication.

Children who are to stay in the hospital overnight will return to the ward after the procedure and discharge from hospital is dependent on their surgical team.


Pain relief

Pain relieving medication (analgesics) is given during the procedure to ensure your child is as comfortable as possible afterwards. The type and strength of pain relief given depends on the procedure.

For minor surgery, paracetamol (eg Panadol, Dymadon) and ibuprofen (eg Nurofen) are usually adequate to control pain postoperatively. Your anaesthetist and recovery nurse will discuss this with you.

For major surgery, your child may be given a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) or nurse controlled analgesia (NCA). These are pumps filled with strong pain relieving medication such as morphine. Older children can control their own pain relief by using a PCA - pushing a button themselves to control pain relief. Younger children will need to use a NCA - where a nurse to pushes the button for them. Children with a PCA, NCA or epidural will be seen daily by the acute pain service, who will continue to manage their pain relief on the ward.

Eating and drinking

  • Once your child is awake and feeling well enough, they will be given a drink or ice block in recovery.
  • It is important not to give your child too much food too soon after the anaesthetic as this may lead to vomiting.
  • Some children who are staying in hospital may need to be kept ‘nil by mouth’ after the operation. This depends on the type of surgery.
Last updated Thursday 2nd November 2023