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Patient Information

Fasting before surgery

https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/information/fasting-before-surgery

Warning sign saying stomach not empty means no procedure

This information covers what you need to know about stopping food and drink (fasting) before an operation. It also includes other information for adults having surgery.

Follow these instructions carefully. If you do not, your surgery may be cancelled.

Key messages

Simple drawing of glass of water

Water

You can sip clear still water up to the time of surgery.

Simple drawing of bowl of cereal

Food and milk

For morning surgery:
No food or milk after midnight



For afternoon surgery:
No food or milk after 7am

Simple drawing of medicine bottle


Medications

Follow the advice given at your pre-assessment appointment

No food before surgery

Fasting is important before having an anaesthetic. Having an empty stomach stops fluid and food coming up and entering your lungs. This could lead to serious problems and damage to your lungs.

You must follow these instructions. This advice applies whether you are having a general anaesthetic (when you are asleep during surgery) or back injections (called a spinal or epidural).

Morning surgery

For patients arriving at hospital between 7am and 7.45am (for morning surgery):

No food or milk after 12 midnight.

Sip only clear still water up until time of surgery.
Afternoon surgery

For patients arriving at hospital between 11am and 1pm (for afternoon surgery):

A light breakfast (e.g. bowl of cereal) is allowed before 7am.

No food or milk after 7am.

Sip only clear still water up until time of surgery.

You must not have chewing gum, sweets or fizzy drink during the hours before the operation when you can only have clear still water. You may clean your teeth.

If you have diabetes, you will be given special instructions at your pre-assessment appointment.

Medications

Bring all medications and inhalers with you on the day of surgery.

Take all regular medications on the day of surgery unless told not to at the pre-assessment appointment.

Notes on medicines







Blood thinning medication

If you are on blood thinning medicines (such as warfarin, Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, Edoxaban) you will receive instructions from the anticoagulation clinic.

If you have not heard from them a week before your operation, contact the pre-assessment team.

On the day of surgery

If you are having day surgery, make sure you have a responsible adult to go home with you and stay with you for 24 hours (including overnight).

Do not wear make-up, nail varnish or jewellery.

Have a bath or shower before coming to hospital.

Do not bring children with you.

You are responsible for any electronic devices or valuables you bring with you. We will lock your possessions away safely whilst you are in surgery.

Pregnancy

Tell the Pre-assessment team as soon as possible if you are pregnant.

There may be risks to your baby if you have an anaesthetic or surgery when pregnant.

If you are pregnant, you should discuss these risks with the Pre-assessment team as soon as possible. Your planned surgery may need to be postponed or cancelled.

You may wish to take additional precautions against getting pregnant while you are waiting for an operation.

More information

If you need further information or have any questions, contact the Pre-assessment team.



The Royal College of Anaesthetists has more information on having an anaesthetic
www.rcoa.ac.uk/patients/patient-information-resources/patient-faqs
Fasting before surgery - Kingston Hospital March 2024 Download PDF


Contacts

Pre-assessment team 020 8934 3668

Translate Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Accessibility Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
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Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.

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Translate

Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.

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Accessibility

Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).


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