Preparing children for surgery

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, gives advice about preparing children for surgery and alleviating their fears
Family Health Advice | Preparing children for surgery
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Preparing children for surgery

So any time a child has surgery, it’s a very scary proposition for not only the family but also for the child. I find in our hospital information is the most powerful thing for both the families and the children. As long as the families know exactly what’s going to happen, both pre-operatively and post-operatively and also inter-operatively by frequent updates, and the child knows what to expect afterwards and also what to expect when they go into the operating room, the fears are alleviated. That doesn’t eliminate all fears, but it does alleviate fears. And then we also have child life services in lots of children’s hospitals. We have it at our hospital. That come and give show and tell about what things to expect while at the hospital. So what I find is the most information you can give to the family as well as the child who is going to have the surgery, the better you can alleviate fears.

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, gives advice about preparing children for surgery and alleviating their fears


Expert Bio

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Edward Buchanan

Pediatric Plastic Surgeon & Author

Dr. Edward P. Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He is the Chief of Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Before coming to Houston, he trained in Plastic Surgery at Stanford University and did further training in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Although he performs all kinds of Plastic and Pediatric Plastic Surgery, his main focus of practice is Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery as well as Craniofacial Surgery.When he is not in Houston, Dr. Buchanan enjoys traveling to countries across the globe to teach and learn from other surgeons.  His most recent trip was to Lilongwe, Malawi, where he was a member of the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Surgical Initiative to help perform and teach Cleft and Pediatric Plastic Surgery.He recently wrote a children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of the Prickly Pear and the Happy Hoglet: Beginning the Journey of the Mental Ninja.” The book is intended to help children begin to develop a healthy self-image so that they can begin their Journey to becoming Mental Ninja’s (  The story was inspired by the children and family’s Dr. Buchanan has cared for over the years. 

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