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Anaesthetic Services

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Starvation guidelines

Preoperative fasting is the practice of a patient abstaining from food and fluid intake before an operation. If there is any food or liquid in your stomach during your anaesthetic, it could come up into the back of your throat and then go into your lungs. This would cause choking, or serious damage to your lungs. The hospital should give you clear instructions about fasting times. It is very important that you follow these.

For a morning procedure, no food (including chewing gum) should be taken after midnight. You can continue to have clear fluids, e.g. water or diluted squash until 5am on the morning of surgery.

For an afternoon procedure you may have an early light breakfast before 6am. No food
(including chewing gum) should be taken there after. You can continue to have clear fluids, e.g.water or diluted squash until 11am on the day of surgery.

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