Fasting Before Surgery

One of the unpleasant aspects of my son’s operation was not allowing him to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. He was too young to understand – especially when the start time of the operation was delayed.

Fasting Before Surgery

The practice of fasting was begun to prevent vomiting with the anesthesia. While surgery and anesthesia have both changed since, this practice hasn’t.

A study presented at the 21st Annual Conference of the European Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ESPEN) in 1999, suggests that not only are there no increased complications from feeding before surgery, but that those who do get a carbohydrate beverage feel better and recover more quickly!

This is consistent with experience in Canada, where some physicians have been giving lemonade before operations for ten years. Another benefit of nutrition!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if further research confirms these findings, and the traditional “nothing by mouth” becomes a thing of the past!

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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