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No eating/drinking before surgery?

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I know this is a written in stone rule...not to be ignored. But my surgery tomorrow isn't until noon. I am hypoglycemic. Yes, the dr knows this. I woke up at 7am this morning, and waited until 9 to eat. I was shaky, had a head ache, and fell like passing out. How an I supposed to make it till noon????? If I ate at 7am-ish, my stomach would digest it by then anyway. What about just a cup of coffee?:confused:

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This is something you need to discuss with your doctor. Tell him exactly what you wrote in your post. I would not take the advice of someone on a message board telling me it is okay to eat before a surgery. Only your doctor knows your particular circumstances. Ask him about coffee.

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Ask if you can have a clear liquid like apple juice or gatorade. I bet you can.


We just had our little rat spayed and rats can have all they want before surgery (well, I heard that it's best to give it one hour between eating and surgery). Rats can't throw up so they don't have to worry about it.

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What time do you check in? Get checked in and get the old dextrose drip going.


I set an alarm and get a very proteiny meal down at the last possible minute.



I know many anesthesiologists who will refuse to put you under if you've had anything by mouth after midnight, including clear liquids. The dextrose will get you stabilized in no time. :)


There is always the chance that your surgery can be bumped up, too.

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You might risk delaying you're surgery even longer if you eat or drink anything. I had a (sort of) scheduled c-section for my daughter (scheduled the day before at 42 weeks!) that was supposed to happen at 1:00pm. Who tells a 42 week pregnant woman they can't eat, so by 8am, I was STARVING! I called my sister (a midwife) and asked if it would be ok if I jus had a little something. She said 1/2 cup apple juice would be ok.


So, at the hospital when they asked if I'd eaten or drunk anything, I honestly and innocently said, "Well, I did have a little bit of juice." You would have thought I'd had a steak dinner! I'm surprised alarms didn't come on. They got all stressed, I got several reprimanding visits from the anesthesiologist, and they made me take lots of awful medicine to help things "move along" faster so I would have an empty stomach. To add insult to injury, other people kept on needing to deliver so the c/s was pushed back to 5:00! And even then, after I was all numbed up, someone in the OR said to me "So you're the one who had the juice this morning!" I felt like they'd put my picture on the hospital bulletin board with under a big WANTED sign.


The moral of the story.....DO EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING! Especially if you live in Northern Virginia, where apparently they get very nervous if you don't follow this rule.


I second the pp who said go in early and get hooked up to the sugar drip. (that's not what it's called, but that's pretty much what it is.) Good luck!

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Do what the anesthesiologist says. Call their group and ask. The no food/drink rule is to prevent aspiration, a serious complication. In our town, your surgery would probably be cancelled, not delayed. They don't have the coverage to reschedule things like that.


Why can't I eat before surgery?

The primary concern about eating before surgery is that general anesthesia causes nausea and vomiting. If the patient vomits while being anesthetized, there is a risk that the vomit could be aspirated into the lungs. This can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal if not addressed. During the procedure, vomiting or stomach reactions could also interfere with the anesthesiologist's equipment or the surgical site. Once the patient wakes up, he or she will feel nauseous and will be offered clear liquids and plain foods to help reduce the feeling of sickness.


As a general rule, no solid foods should be eaten less than eight hours before surgery. Patients can drink liquids until four hours before, although they should take small sips, and the liquids should be clear. The guidelines about eating before surgery are different for infants and small children, and you should consult your doctor.


PS-Some anesthesiologists say that coffee is o.k. as long as there is no cream. Sugar is o.k. as it dissolves the coffee. But, you should still consult YOUR anesthesiologist!

Edited by HollyinNNV
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