Changes, Delays or Cancellation of Procedures or Surgeries

Procedures or surgeries may be cancelled and rescheduled for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, there are some times when procedures or surgeries may be cancelled or rescheduled. We know this may be disappointing or frustrating to you and your child. The two things parents can do to lower the chance of the procedure or surgery schedule changes is to:

  1. Follow the no eating and drinking instructions to ensure your child has an empty stomach.
  2. Arrive on time.

Eating and drinking instructions

For your child’s safety, the procedure or surgery may be cancelled or rescheduled if your child has not stopped food and drink as instructed before surgery.

Eating and drinking instructions, sometimes called NPO instructions, for surgery and procedure patients are listed below. These must be strictly followed to keep your child as safe as possible. If these instructions are not followed, your child's surgery or procedure may be delayed or canceled.

Please read the following information carefully

Except for emergencies, your child's stomach should be empty when anesthesia is started. This helps prevent vomiting, which may cause food or stomach acid to get into the lungs.

Follow the instructions that the Pediatric Anesthesia Resource Center, or PARC provider, has given you. A small number of children will receive special instructions different from these, depending on their medical needs.


It is important to make sure your child is hydrated and has enough liquids in their body. This will keep them comfortable and help with their recovery after surgery. Clear liquids include only water, Pedialyte, Gatorade, and clear apple juice. The apple juice cannot be cider or have pulp. Have your child drink clear liquids up until the time they are scheduled to arrive at the hospital.

Keep taking prescribed medicines with a small sip of water unless the care team tells you to stop.

  • STOP food and candy at 12 a.m. Midnight
    Food includes anything that’s NOT formula, milk, breast milk or clear liquids.
  • STOP formula and milk when your Care Team tells you to stop.
  • STOP breast milk when your Care Team tells you to stop.
  • STOP all clear liquids at the time you are told to arrive at the hospital.
    Clear liquids include only water, Pedialyte, Gatorade, and clear apple juice. The apple juice cannot be cider or have pulp.

Print these pre-procedure eating and drinking instructions (NPO guidelines): English / Español

If your child arrives late for the procedure or surgery

It is critical that you arrive on time with your child. We are working to reduce wait times and stay on schedule, so we may have to cancel/reschedule your child’s procedure if you arrive late. Please allow an extra 15-30 minutes to park and walk to the Treatment Center. You are most welcome to use the free valet parking service and let the attendant park for you. Valet parking is available at both the Main garage and the West garage

During the scheduling of your child’s procedure you will be told the time of arrival for your child’s procedure or surgery. If you know you will have difficulty arriving on time or do not remember your arrival time, please call the Pediatric Anesthesia Resource Center (PARC) at (650) 736-7359 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the operating room front desk at (650) 721-2820 from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Unexpected schedule changes

On few occasions, we may have to reschedule or delay your child’s procedure due to unexpected or emergency surgeries. We sincerely apologize if this happens and, we will try to keep you informed of the reasons for the delay or reschedule your child’s procedure or surgery as soon as possible.

Click here to print out our helpful guidelines for your next procedure or surgery.