If you’ve been reading our recent blog series here at Alaska Pediatric Surgery in Anchorage, then you’ve been getting some great tips on preparing your child for surgery – whether they’re toddlers or teens! We’re covering the whole spectrum in our blog series dedicated to helping parents prepare their children for their upcoming surgery – especially if it’s their first one! Today we’re specifically looking at some tips on preparing your teen for surgery.

What is your teenager concerned about regarding the surgery? 

  • Are they worried the surgery might affect their looks?
  • Are they worried that the surgery is going to affect their daily activities?
  • Are they worried that the surgery may make them feel more dependent when they’re striving to be independent?

How can you help prepare your teenager for surgery?

  • Make sure you involve your teen. As an adolescent, they enjoy being able to actively participate in decisions that affect them, including the kind of care they receive pre and post surgery. Let your teenager be a partner in their healthcare decisions and give him or her as much control as they want / as possible.
  • Be honest, too. Teenagers don’t want to feel like people are keeping secrets from them and if they feel this way, they may become angry and closed off. They need to understand why they’re having the surgery and what’s wrong with their body. How you give them this information is just as important as what information you give them.
  • Encourage them to ask questions! Encourage your teenager to ask the nurses and doctors any questions about their conditions so that they feel in control and more comfortable.