For Adult Patients
Why do I need to fast?
All sedative and anaesthetic drugs impair the protective reflexes that prevent stomach contents from being regurgitated into your lungs. This is called aspiration and can lead to life threatening pneumonia, even in an otherwise healthy person having a small operation. It is largely preventable in elective surgery. For your own safety, it is of upmost importance that guidelines for pre-operative fasting are followed to minimise such risk.
Stop eating food and drinking fluids six hours prior to your admission time. You can consume water (no cordial or juice) in small volumes (up to a total of 200mls or one cup) up to two hours before surgery. Do not drink anything in the final two hours prior to admission. The only exception is if you need swallow medications, a small sip of water is permitted. On occasion the Anaesthetist may modify the advice slightly after discussion with you pre-operatively.
What about my tablets?
It is important that you take your usual medications on the day of surgery with a sip of water if necessary, even it occurs within the fasting period. This is because your medical condition needs to remain treated whilst you’re asleep under anaesthetic. However if you are a diabetic and/ or take anticoagulant medication then special instructions will be given.
I am a smoker
Smoker’s have a higher risk of wound and general complications when compared to non-smokers. It is advisable to cease smoking as early as possible prior to surgery, to reduce this risk.
The anaesthetist will typically make contact with you before the surgery and on the day of your operation. Please advise the anaesthetist of your medical history, have a list of medications, report any allergies or adverse reactions. Patients with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators may need to liase with their cardiologist. Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea should bring their CPAP sleep apnoea mask with them to hospital. If you have any concerns please discuss them with Dr Joanna Morgan, her anaesthetist, your local doctor or other treating specialist e.g. cardiologist, endocrinologist.
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