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Your Child’s Surgery

How do I prepare my teenager (13 to 18 years)?

You’ll be better able to prepare your teen if you know what they're worried about and how you can help.

What is your teen wo​rried about?

Your teen may be worried about:

  • how the surgery might change their looks
  • not being able to spend as much time as they want with their friends
  • needing your help to do things they are used to doing on their own and losing their independence
  • privacy
  • the surgery and its risks
Talking with Children

How can you help prepare your teen for surgery?

Let your teen be a partner in their healthcare decisions and give them as much control as you can. Teens want to decide what happens to them, including the kind of care they get.

Be open and honest. Your teen may get angry if they think people are keeping secrets from them. They need to understand what’s wrong with their body and if they have to make lifestyle changes. How you give them that information is as important as what information you give them. Talk about how the surgery may change their daily routine and activities and the time they spend with their friends.

It’s important to understand how your teen thinks the surgery might change their looks.

Let your teen know that it’s good to ask questions to you and the healthcare team. Teens may be afraid to ask questions, which may make you think they understand more than they actually do. Ask your teen to make a list of questions to bring to the hospital.

Help your teen stay in touch with their friends at school. Help them plan for homework they may need to catch up on while they are away.​​

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