Your Diet and Preparing for Surgery

Preoperative Fasting Guidelines - Adults

The presurgical 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® Pre-Surgery, 10 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)

  • Water
  • Apple, Cranberry & Grape Juice
  • Gatorade
  • Black Coffee or Tea
  • Clear Broth
  • Ginger ale and Seltzer
  • Jello and Italian Ice
  • Ensure® Pre-Surgery – (IF instructed)
Not Allowed:
  • 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

Preoperative Fasting Guidelines - Pediatrics

Eat a light dinner the day before surgery.

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

Allowed up to 3 hours before surgery
Allowed up to 6 hours before surgery
Allowed up to 6 hours before surgery
Allowed up to 8 hours before surgery

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