Your Diet and Preparing for Surgery


The pre-surgical diet  guidelines below are for general purposes only. Your physician or surgeon may require you to follow an alternative plan. In that case, follow your physician's instructions rather than the guidelines below.

Fourteen Days Prior to Surgery

  • Stop all nutritional and herbal supplements (vitamins/minerals/herbals)
  • EXCEPTIONS – the following are okay to continue: calcium, iron & vitamin D

The Day Before Surgery

  • Follow your regular diet
  • Do not eat any solid food after midnight (CLEAR FLUIDS ONLY after midnight)

Day of Surgery

  • If instructed, drink carbohydrate-rich drink (ENSURE CLEAR®, 6.8 oz) 3 hours before procedure
  • Take clear fluids only up to 3 hours before surgery or up until arrival at the Hospital.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after arriving at the hospital.

Clear Fluid Diet (Any Meal)

Allowed Not Allowed
  • Water
  • Apple, Cranberry & Grape Juice
  • Gatorade
  • Black Coffee or Tea
  • Clear Broth
  • Ginger ale and Seltzer
  • Jello and Italian Ice
  • Ensure Clear® – (IF instructed)
  • Milk or Dairy Products
    (including in coffee and tea)
  • Citrus Juices
  • Prune Juice
  • Juices with Pulp
  • Any food or beverage not listed in the
    “allowed” column


  • Eat a light dinner the day before surgery
Type of Food Minimum Time Before Surgery
Clear liquids (water, fruit juices without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee) Allowed up to 3 hours before surgery
Breast milk Allowed up to 3 hours before surgery
Infant formula Allowed up to 6 hours before surgery
Non-human milk (cow milk, soy milk, etc.) Allowed up to 6 hours before surgery
Solid meal Allowed up to 8 hours before surgery

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