Adult Preoperative Diet Guidelines

The following instructions are for adults. If the patient is less than 12 years old, please refer to the pediatric diet guidelines.

Your stomach must be empty prior to surgery. If not, your procedure may be postponed. It is very important that you follow these diet guidelines:

If surgery is scheduled for noon or before:

  • Refrain from all solid food or liquids past midnight (including chewing gum and hard candies).
  • Approved medications may be taken with a small sip of water.
  • Non-approved medications must be taken after surgery.
  • If you eat or drink something after midnight, please notify the appropriate surgery center.

If your surgery is scheduled after noontime:

  • No solid food (includes orange juice, milk, cream) is allowed after midnight.
  • Clear liquids may be taken until 7:00 a.m. the day of surgery. Examples include: apple or cranberry juice, water, coffee (without cream or milk).
  • Approved medications may be taken with a small sip of water.
  • Non-approved medications must be taken after surgery.

Patients with a history of diabetes, gastric reflux, or hiatal hernia may be asked by the anesthesiologist to take one or more pills prior to surgery. These medications reduce stomach acidity and promote emptying of the stomach.