How to Help Kids Get Through Surgery

As a pediatric orthopedist here in San Diego, I spend a fair amount of time diagnosing and treating kids. One of the most common concerns I hear from parents is whether their children will be able to get through a surgical procedure without undue anxiety or trauma.

The answer to that concern has gotten increasingly easy over the years, as developing technologies have placed an expanding catalog of distractions into the hands of patients. Video screens, touch screens, and all manner of interactive apps are helping kids get their minds off their medical procedures these days, and into a more contented flow.

As this article outlines, the result is a growing number of fear-free operations, including some unorthodox bonding in the O.R.:

Rodriguez switches the movie from “Ninjago” over to one he’s designed and edited himself. It’s a compilation of clips from NASA, Buzz Lightyear and Minions, which together create a full blastoff experience. The idea is for the child to feel like they’re taking a trip to the moon instead of going under for surgery.

“Let’s get our space monitors! We’ve got our space masks right now,” said Rodriguez excitedly as he placed the anesthesia mask over Matthew’s face. “All right let’s get ready for our countdown!”

My San Diego pediatric orthopedic practice offers kids a variety of ways to enjoy their time with us, and emerge emotionally unscathed. Add to this our sterling commitment to the very best medical care for childhood injuries and diseases, and it’s no wonder so many parents trust us with their kids.