Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s Liver and Gallbladder Surgery

If your child has a liver or gallbladder condition, it’s possible that their primary physician may recommend a surgical procedure to fix the issue.

While this is a stressful decision for any parent, Austin Pediatric Surgery is here to put your mind at ease. At our pediatric surgery center, our surgeons specialize in both pediatric liver surgery and pediatric gallbladder surgery.

“At our pediatric surgery center, our surgeons specialize in both pediatric liver surgery and pediatric gallbladder surgery.”

We understand that before your child undergoes any procedure, you’ll have several questions and concerns that arise. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about your child’s liver and gallbladder surgery—but if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact the medical team at our office.

Common Pediatric Liver and Gallbladder Conditions

There are many different conditions that could require pediatric liver or gallbladder surgery.

The most common liver and gallbladder conditions we see in children are:

  • Liver tumors
  • Biliary atresia
  • Choledochal cysts
  • Cholelithiasis (gallstones)
  • Cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation)
  • Biliary dyskinesia (improperly functioning gallbladder)

Are There Risks to Surgery?

The liver is an important organ that your child needs in order to function and thrive. The gallbladder, though not a vital organ, can cause ongoing pain and if there’s a condition that’s left untreated.

The risks associated with your child’s surgery are dependent upon how invasive the procedure is. At Austin Pediatric Surgery, we focus on performing our procedures with techniques that are as minimally invasive as possible. Because of this, most of our surgeries are low-risk, although you should contact your surgeon immediately if you notice bleeding or infection around the surgical site or if your child develops a fever after surgery.

If your child is in need of an open operation, the recovery time will be longer and there may be more risks associated with surgery. However, we have some of the best pediatric surgeons in Austin on our team, and they will perform your child’s procedure as safely as possible and will let you know of any risks associated with the specific operation.

How Should I Prepare My Child for Surgery?

The best way to help your child prepare for surgery is to comfort them and answer all of their questions in a reassuring way. Let them know that the surgery is for the best and that it will help them feel better. Talk to them about all of the kind doctors and nurses that will be helping them.

The night before surgery, have your child pick out a special stuffed animal or blanket to bring with them. This small thing can provide a lot of comfort to your child during the pre-op and recovery period.

Your child’s pediatric surgeon may  also give you a list of instructions to help you prepare your child for the procedure. Make sure your child gets a bath or shower the night before or the morning of the surgery. Prior to the procedure, a nurse will clean and sanitize your child’s surgical site in the operating room, but bathing beforehand can also help reduce the risk of infection.

You will be told when your child should stop eating and drinking the night before the surgery. It is critical that your child follows these instructions, because the procedure may have to be rescheduled if they do not.

How Long Will Surgery Last?

The amount of time your child spends in the operating room will depend on the type of procedure our surgeons are performing.

With gallbladder surgery, you can expect the procedure to be completed within 1-2 hours. With liver surgery, the procedure can be longer, depending on the severity of your child’s condition and the complexity of the procedure needed in order to fix the condition.

Your child’s surgeon will let you know how long you should expect to be waiting. Once your child wakes from the anesthesia, you will be able to wait with them in the recovery room.

What Will Post-Op Recovery Be Like?

The amount of time it takes your child to recover from surgery will depend on your child’s specific condition and surgery.

With gallbladder surgery, your child will be able to return home in one or two days following the operation. With liver surgery, your child may need to recover in the hospital for a longer period of time, perhaps up to a week.

Your child’s surgeon will let you know how long you should expect your child to stay in inpatient recovery and how you can prepare for their outpatient recovery back at home.

Your Child Is in the Best Hands at Austin Pediatric Surgery

Liver or gallbladder surgery can be scary for both you and your child. Remember that our dedicated and compassionate team of medical professionals is here for you every step along the way. To talk to our doctors about any additional questions you may have,  or to inquire about scheduling your child’s procedure, contact Austin Pediatric Surgery today.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s Skin Surgery

With school and extracurricular activities, most parents have enough on their plate when it comes to their children. But a child in need of skin surgery is enough to make parents stop in their tracks.

At Austin Pediatric Surgery, we’ve performed thousands of pediatric surgeries. We always put the needs of your child first, and we can confidently talk with you about everything you need to know about your child’s skin surgery.

The Importance of Skin Surgery

For the most part, moles, bumps, and acne marks are just part of growing up. However, when moles and other skin marks begin to grow or change in size, it’s time to see the pediatrician.

Let’s talk more about the specific skin issues we treat at our Austin facility.


One of the most common skin conditions we see in children is cysts. We treat dermoid cysts, epidermoid cysts, and pilonidal cysts. We offer an outpatient surgery that is minimally-invasive, and effective. Some cysts, such as pilonidal cysts, may require repeated surgeries to cure the disease.


While lipomas look like cysts, they’re actually different. Lipomas are fatty lumps growing between skin and muscle, whereas cysts are sacs that are filled with various tissues, cells, and fluids. These can be easily removed with outpatient surgery.

Skin Tags

Are skin tags harmful? Not exactly. But as your child runs, jumps, and plays, the last thing they need to worry about are skin tags. They can get caught on clothing and jewelry, and cause unnecessary irritation. The good news is that we can sometimes remove them in our office, and they are not likely to grow back.

Understanding Risks of Skin Surgery

While the risks associated with most of these procedures are minimal, it’s still important to be aware of them. Skin surgery can result in increased skin sensitivity, as well as redness around the affected areas. Nerve damage of varying degrees is also a potential complication of skin surgery, which is why it’s so important to keep in touch with your pediatric surgeon.

Our experienced medical staff conducts pediatric surgery with a full awareness of these risks. Your surgeon will ensure your child’s procedure is completed in a safe environment with a full surgical team in place.

What to Expect at Your Child’s Skin Surgery

Skin surgeries are designed to take as little time as possible. Not all surgical procedures require general anesthesia. Some procedures are performed with local anesthesia only, which is limited to numbing in the surgical area. Some children describe a local injection of anesthesia as a cold sensation or a slight burning sensation, but both go away quickly.

For skin procedures that involve general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist is in the room to monitor the process from start to finish. While some children have issues with general anesthesia, it is very uncommon. There may be some grogginess after they are brought out of sedation, but this typically fades quickly.

In most cases, your child will go home the same day of the surgery. We pride ourselves on our focus on children’s comfort while handling the intended medical procedures with care.

Navigating the Post-Surgery Recovery Process with Your Child

It is said that real healing begins at home, and this is true after pediatric surgery of any kind. Be sure to comfort your child during this time: going through any surgery process is difficult and stressful!

If your child is mature enough, encourage them to be an active participant in the healing process. For example, older children may want to exercise their independence by cleaning their own surgical sites. Be sure that you teach them to be as gentle as possible and supervise the process so stitches aren’t pulled out.

Cleaning the skin gently is the most important thing to do. Warm water and gentle soap go a long way. Make sure that your child isn’t using heavily fragranced soap or body spray during this critical time. Body sprays may cause skin irritation, so avoid those as much as possible.

When you bring your child to follow-up visits after surgery, let them know that they can share any of their concerns with the doctor. Any sharp pain or changes in color at the surgical site should be communicated to your doctor immediately.

An Important Note About Antibiotics

If antibiotics are required after surgery, it’s important to take the entire course of the medicine and not just stop a few days into it. It’s harder for antibiotics to do their job if your child doesn’t take all of the medication prescribed by the doctor.

Austin Pediatric Surgery Is Here to Help

We know your child’s skin surgery is a difficult and scary topic, so feel free to contact us by phone or email to let us know your concerns. We’d be glad to walk through your child’s upcoming surgery, as well as make suggestions for aftercare and follow-up visits.


Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s Hernia Surgery

Knowing your child needs hernia surgery can be scary — Austin Pediatric Surgery is here to help.

If your child has an abdominal wall hernia, Austin Pediatric Surgery is here for you.

We understand that watching your child undergo any sort of medical procedure may be intimidating, and our highly advanced team of medical professionals are here with you every step of the way. At our practice, we specialize in pediatric surgery with expertise in all types of abdominal wall hernias, including inguinal hernias, ventral hernias, epigastric hernias, and umbilical hernias, as well as others.

That’s why we’ve compiled this article listing everything you need to know about your child’s hernia surgery. This information will help you come to your child’s appointments with the peace of mind you’ve been looking for.

Which Hernia Conditions Require Surgery?

Hernia surgery may be required depending on the type of hernia your child has, how old the child is and whether the hernia is causing symptoms, such as pain.

At Austin Pediatric Surgery, our experienced surgeons can treat any type of abdominal hernia your child may be experiencing; however, the three most common forms of child hernias we see are umbilical, inguinal, and epigastric.

Are There Risks During Hernia Surgery?

There are few risks associated with pediatric hernia surgery. In rare instances, however, infection or bleeding can occur around the surgical site. Hernias can also come back, but rarely.

Your child’s surgeon will give you recovery instructions for what to expect after surgery. If you notice any bleeding or what could look like the beginnings of an infection, be sure to contact your child’s surgeon. Austin Pediatric Surgery is available around the clock for any concerns you may have after surgery.

How Should I Prepare My Child for Hernia Surgery?

Your child’s pediatric surgeon will provide you with a list of instructions that will be your guide as you prepare your child for this procedure.

Make sure that your child is bathed either the night before or the morning of the surgery. A nurse will clean and sanitize your child’s surgical site prior to the procedure in the operating room, but bathing beforehand can also help decrease the risk of infection.

You will be given a time at which your child should stop eating and drinking. It is important to make sure that your child abides by these instructions since the procedure may have to be rescheduled if these instructions are not followed.

You can also help your child mentally prepare for this procedure by comforting your child with the fact that there will be friendly faces nearby. It may also be helpful to bring something that reminds your child of home to the procedure, such as a blanket or a stuffed animal. This can help bring some comfort to your child during pre-op and recovery.

What Should I Expect During My Child’s Surgery?

Most pediatric hernia repairs are relatively quick; your child will likely be in the operating room for less than an hour, including anesthesia and wake-up time.

Once your child wakes up from the anesthesia, they will be brought back to the recovery room for post-operative monitoring. When you child is alert, they will bring you to their bedside as soon as possible.

Most hernia surgeries are outpatient procedures, meaning you and your child can most likely go home a few hours after the surgery.

What Will Post-Surgical Recovery Look Like?

Children are resilient, and it shouldn’t take long after your child’s procedure for them to begin feeling like themselves again. Most children are able to go back to their normal activities after a few days, but it could take a few weeks for a full recovery if your child’s hernia was larger or more complex to repair.

Your child’s surgeon will inform you of what your child can and cannot do in the days following their surgery and when you should give them their medication. A follow-up appointment with your surgeon may be recommended, usually 2-4 weeks after surgery to check and make sure everything is healing well.

See the Doctors You Can Trust at Austin Pediatric Surgery

We understand that sending your child into surgery is stressful. When you contact us, our specialists can answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s hernia surgery and schedule it at a time that’s convenient for you. We’ll be glad to provide you with the information and treatments that your child needs to get them feeling healthy once again!

Pediatric Surgery Recovery: What To Expect Post-Op

Every year, 450,000 children under the age of 18 get surgery in the United States. Kids can easily feel scared and overwhelmed by the surgical recovery process. This period of time might be one of the first moments of their life experiencing high levels of pain, discomfort, or weakness. 

To make this process a little more manageable for both parents and children alike, this article explores the typical healing journey and the best ways to make recovery as relaxing as possible.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Surgery?

Directly after surgery, kids will be placed in a recovery room to wait for the anesthesia to wear off. It takes around 45 minutes on average for children to recover from the general anesthesia from their surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and the success of the procedure, kids will either be discharged a few hours later or spend one night or more in the hospital for extra monitoring during recovery. 

The estimated recovery time for surgery completely depends on your child’s unique situation.  The invasiveness of the surgery, the unique medical background of your child, complications from the surgery, and the part of the body that the surgery was performed on can all play a role in the recovery time.

Recovery Symptoms To Look Out For

Even if your child’s surgery is seamlessly executed without any complications, the majority of patients in surgical recovery will experience some inevitable pain and irritation of the body. Some of the most common post-operative recovery symptoms that aren’t usually much of a cause for concern include: 

  • Pain or swelling in the surgical site
  • Mild constipation or gas buildup 
  • Nausea from pain medications or anesthesia 
  • Trouble falling asleep 

While the above symptoms are common, if you notice them worsening instead of getting better, it is important to speak with a medical professional. Furthermore, it is time to call the doctor when any of these more severe symptoms arise: 

  • High fever and flu symptoms 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • The inability to urinate
  • A surgical wound that looks infected, with excess drainage, odor, swelling, or redness
  • More severe or worsening pain

5 Ways To Console Children Through Recovery

Here are 5 tips to keep your child calm and relaxed through the surgical healing process: 

#1: Have Comforting Items Available

When your child comes home from the hospital after surgery, make sure to have comfortable items on hand. After spending time in the stressful and unfamiliar setting of the hospital and operating room, familiar items of comfort will help your child feel more relaxed and grounded. This might include their favorite blanket, stuffed animal, toy, pacifier, or pillow. 

#2: Give Children Hugs 

Sometimes all your child needs to feel better is the physical affection of a cuddle or hug. Hugging releases oxytocin in the brain, which plays a huge role in reducing stress and anxiety. Not only this, but oxytocin is even associated with stronger immune systems and wound healing as well. 

#3: Be Mindful Of Their Pain Levels

Some kids might have some trouble directly articulating if they are experiencing pain from their surgery. As a parent, it is important to encourage your child to express how they are feeling to ensure that they are receiving the proper dosage of pain medications. 

Depending on the age of your child, some might be too young to express this need, which is why paying attention to their body language is equally important. Signs of your child in pain include irritability, restlessness, crying and wincing, and frowning. 

#4: Have Entertainment Ready To Go

To distract your child from their pain and discomfort, it is helpful to have a variety of entertainment ready to go. Books, movies, television shows, songs, video games, and other types of multimedia content are all great ways to keep children focused on something more positive and fun, without having to exert too much physical effort.  

#5: Work With A Child Life Specialist

If you find yourself struggling to help your child cope with their recovery symptoms effectively, working with a child life specialist is a great way to get some ideas and professional support. Child life specialists are trained professionals in helping kids and their families navigate illness, hospitals, and the medical experience.

Austin Pediatric Surgery is In Your Corner

The recovery process can be a long and bumpy road, but with ample support and professional assistance from Austin Pediatric Surgery, your child will get back on their feet in no time

To receive the best post-op care for your child in Austin, look no further than our compassionate team today. Contact us today to learn more.

Preparing Yourself & Family For Your Child’s Surgery

There is no question that pediatric surgery can be an overwhelming experience for parents and families to cope with. Oftentimes, parents are just as nervous, if not more nervous, than the child themselves. 

While coping with anxiety, intense emotions, and stress leading up to the surgery date is completely valid and normal, preparing yourself and your child for surgery will help the stress become more manageable.

8 Tips For Seamless Pediatric Surgery Preparation

The more that you prepare for the details of your child’s surgery, the more confident and calm your entire family will feel. 8 simple ways to best prepare yourself and family for an impending surgery include:

#1: Don’t Keep Your Child in The Dark

As a parent, it is only natural to want to protect your child from the scarier parts of life. While putting off the conversation surrounding an upcoming surgery might be tempting, the unknown can actually increase a child’s anxiety more in the long-run. Since children have vivid imaginations, it is easy for them to picture a surgery as a much scarier event than it really is. 

Sitting down with your child and calmly explaining the reason behind their upcoming surgery and hospital stay offers them the opportunity to ask questions, share their fears, and receive the proper reassurance and guidance that everything will be okay. 

#2: Work With a Child Life Specialist

Child life specialists are a wonderful resource to capitalize on in a hospital setting. As trained pediatric professionals, child life specialists have the expertise to help children and families better cope with a medical setting. In general, child life specialists can help with many facets of the surgery experience, including: 

  • Explaining your child’s surgery in an age-appropriate manner that avoids any scary words or images
  • Providing emotional support to your child and family
  • Offering pointers for how you can approach your child about their upcoming surgery

#3: Prioritize Your Personal Needs As Much As Your Child’s Needs

At the end of the day, the better your mental and physical wellbeing is taken care of as a parent, the better equipped you will be to take care of your children’s needs and concerns. If all of the tasks on your plate feel like too much to handle, leaning on friends and family for support is an excellent tool. 

While it is in a parent’s nature to put a child’s needs above all else, remember that your own needs are essential as well. 

#4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

When it comes to your child’s upcoming surgery, knowledge is power. Discussing any and all questions or concerns with your child’s surgeons and anesthesiologists prior to the procedure will ease your mind and keep you from jumping to any unnecessary conclusions. Not only this, but it will better equip you with answers that you can relay to your child if they have similar questions. 

Every surgery offers a different set of parameters of the hospital stay time, length of the procedure, and preoperative and postoperative instructions. Helpful questions to ask your child’s doctors include topics related to:

  • How many nights or hours the child can expect to stay in the hospital
  • The type of anesthesia method that will be used
  • What the recovery and pain-management process should look like after surgery
  • Instructions that the child should follow in the days or hours leading up to a successful surgery
  • What exactly the surgery will resolve and how it will benefit your child’s health outcomes

#5: Familiarize Your Child with Medical and Hospital Settings

A hospital setting doesn’t have to be an unknown and intimidating place. Familiarizing your children with what happens at a hospital, what to expect, and how certain medical equipment works will show children that there is nothing to be afraid of in a medical setting.

Easy ways to bring greater awareness of medical and hospital-related topics include:

  • Playing with medical-themed toys such as fake stethoscopes and bandages
  • Reading children’s books that take place at a hospital or involve a child getting surgery
  • Taking your child on a facility tour of the hospital their surgery will take place in. This familiarizes the both of you with the ins and outs of the hospital environment. 

#6: Always Bring a Piece of Home to the Hospital

No matter the child’s age, it can feel overwhelming to navigate the newness of the medical tools and equipment that accompany a hospital environment. Bringing a small, coveted memento to comfort your child is a surefire way to make a hospital room look, feel, and even smell a little more like home. 

Easy items to bring that elicit familiarity and comfort include blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and toys. 

#7: Follow All Preoperative Instructions the Day Before The Surgery

To prepare your child to have the most successful surgery outcome possible, it is crucial to pay close attention to all of the preoperative instructions that your child’s doctor requires. This ensures that your child is taken care of both physically and emotionally. 

#8: Show Confidence in Your Child’s Doctors and Surgery

Let’s face it: kids are incredibly smart at all ages, and can easily pick up on nonverbal cues, body language, and the emotional states of those around them. Because of this, it is important as a parent to carry yourself in a confident and calm manner when discussing their surgical procedure. Assuring them that you are very confident in the abilities of their doctors, nurses, and medical staff will ensure that they feel secure as well.

Work With the Best Pediatric Surgeons in Austin Today

All in all, implementing these simple tactics will make your child’s surgery a more relaxing experience for the entire family. With over 20 years of experience as a pediatric surgery center, our capable team of medical professionals at Austin Pediatric Surgery are committed to creating as comfortable of a surgical experience as possible for both patients and their families.