Fasting guidelines for adults

What can I eat and drink the night before and day of my procedure or surgery?

Any surgery or procedure with Anesthesia will need to follow these instructions…

  • Unless instructed differently by your doctor, no food for eight hours before your procedure (even food or formula given through a feeding tube)
  • Up to two hours before your procedure you may drink clear fluids if your doctor approves. Clear fluids are:
    • Water
    • Apple or white grape juice
    • Carbonated drinks, such as soda pop
    • Sports drinks such as Gatorade®
    • Clear tea
    • Black coffee
  • No milk, creamer, or lemon added to any drinks
  • No alcohol
  • Do not swallow gum, mints, or candy
  • Do not eat or drink two hours before procedure

Your stomach must be empty for your procedure. We do not want food from your stomach to get into your lungs during the procedure. Your procedure will be delayed if you do not or cannot follow these instructions.

Last reviewed: 
June 2017

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