Pediatric Surgery

pre-teen girl sitting in her hospital bed smiling, with doctors speaking gently to her

The pediatric surgery program at Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital is a regional leader in innovation and outcomes, with expertise in all types of surgical procedures for children including complex treatment for children’s cardiac conditions. Pediatric surgery is available at Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital, Inova Alexandria Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital. Services vary by location.

Preparing Your Child for Surgery (English) PDF

Reasons to choose Inova Children's:

  • Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital is a Level 1 Verified Children's Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons Children's Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program (ACS SCV). 
  • Fellowship-trained and experienced board-certified pediatric surgeons
  • Dedicated pediatric anesthesiologists and specialized nurses at the forefront of pediatric medicine
  • Certified Child Life specialists trained to prepare and support children and families through every aspect of the surgical experience and hospital stay
Our Team

A team totally dedicated to your child's care and recovery

Each physician and clinician associated with our pediatric surgery program has one goal: to provide your child the highest level of surgical care and to make his or her hospital experience as comfortable as possible before, during and after surgery.

Inova's Child Life specialists are specially trained clinicians who dedicate themselves to easing the anxiety and stress affecting children during a hospital stay or outpatient procedure. Our Child Life experts are available at Inova Children's Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital. Because your child is unique, our Child Life specialists tune in to your family, culture and stage of development.

Our Certified Child Life specialists are trained to meet the psychosocial needs of children undergoing medical experiences. They have an undergraduate degree in child life or related field, have completed a child life internship, and are certified with the Child Life Council. Many have gone on to complete a Master's degree and fellowship in the field of child life. This specialized training equips child life specialists with the skills and expertise required to help prepare and support children through their medical experiences.

Specialized Programs and Services

Our national recognition means excellence in care for your child

Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital performs more than 4,000 pediatric surgical procedures each year. Our state-of-the-art pediatric surgery center offers inpatient and outpatient surgical services for children, adolescents and their families.

Patient Information

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Please visit our Preparing for Surgery page for parents and children.

NPO guidelines


No solid food after 11 p.m. the night before the procedure.

Clear Liquids or Ice Chips

Your child may have "clear" liquids or ice chips up to 2 hours prior to the specified arrival time. Examples of clear liquids include water, apple juice, Pedialyte and sports drinks such as Gatorade.

Breast Milk

Feeding must end 4 hours prior to the scheduled procedure time. Do not add cereal or thickeners.

Infant Formula

Feeding must end 6 hours prior to the scheduled procedure time. Do not add cereal or thickeners.

Nonhuman Milk

Feeding must end 6 hours prior to the scheduled procedure time. Do not add cereal or thickeners.