Why you must not eat or drink before surgery

Under normal circumstances your body prevents the acidic stomach contents from entering and damaging your lungs. When you are under anaesthetic this protection is lost. It is important therefore to have an empty stomach to reduce the risk to the lungs. You should therefore have no food (including lollies and chewing gum) or drink for up to six hours before your operation or as directed by your anaesthetist or surgeon. Some people need medication pre-operatively, for example blood pressure or heart tablets. This can be taken at your usual time with a sip only of water. If you are unsure to take your medications check with your surgeon, hospital or anaesthetist.

If your period of fasting is inadequate your operation may be postponed for your own safety.

For more information please refer to www.allaboutanaesthesia.com.au