How long do I fast for?
The fasting guidelines are simple:
NO FOOD FOR 6 HOURS
CLEAR FLUIDS ALLOWED UP TO 2 HOURS BEFORE SURGERY
Clear fluids include water, clear fruit juice, energy drinks, black tea or coffee.
NO THICKENED FLUIDS OR MILK
In practice this means f you are scheduled for morning surgery you should fast from food from midnight but can drink fluid until you arrive at the hospital which is usually 2 hours before surgery starts.
If you are scheduled for afternoon surgery then you can have a light breakfast (finishing by ~0730am) then drink clear fluids until you arrive at the hospital.
You will be reminded of fasting times the day before your surgery.
What time should I come to hospital?
You will be asked to come to the hospital at least 2 hours before your surgery is due to commence. You can expect to be contacted the day before your operation to confirm the time. If you need to know before this date please contact the hospital.
What tablets should I take?
You can generally take all your usual medications including aspirin. There are only a few exceptions. If you are on diabetic medications please do not take any tablets on the day of your operation. If you are on blood thinners such as warfarin, prasugrel, plavix, rivaroxoaban or apixaban please discuss this with your surgeon.
I am diabetic. What medications can I take?
If you take insulin, you can have half your usual long-acting the night before. No short acting insulin on the day of surgery. If you are on tablets please avoid all diabetic tablets on the day of surgery. We are more concerned about low blood sugars being undetected while under anaesthetic and less concerned about high blood sugar. There is no evidence that tight control of blood glucose will alter outcomes in the short term following operations.
I am on blood thinners. When should I stop these?
You will need to discuss this with your surgeon when booking your surgery. Most blood thinners except for aspirin will need to be ceased before your operation. It is safe to continue aspirin. If you have cardiac stents, mechanical heart valves, a recent stroke or other higher risk conditions you may be advised to substitute your usual blood thinner with a shorter acting one before your surgery. It is very important that this is done correctly. If there is any doubt please contact your surgeon, GP or primary specialist for further advice.