When you are having surgery, one of the preoperative subjects that your Glendora General Surgery will discuss with you is how long you need to fast before your surgery, and when you need to reduce or stop your dietary supplements or medications, especially if you are going to have a general anesthesia or another form of sedation. It is also important for you to understand why you need to strictly adhere to your surgeon’s advice. How long you will need to fast or restrict the use of medicines and supplements will vary depending on your age, the type of your operation, and your personal health history.
Why Fasting is Necessary
The most effective and efficient way to ensure that you are relaxed during your operation and that you will not feel any discomfort or pain is with the use of a sedative or anesthesia, whether general or local. Preoperative pain medication will relax the strong muscles in your digestive tract and in your airway. The function of these muscles is to retain any foods or liquids in your stomach and not allow them to pass into your lungs, something that can create difficulties during an operation when you will not have the ability to cough out anything blocking your airway. This type of situation is called aspiration and something that you can help to avoid by following your surgeon’s pre-surgery instructions.
Medicinal and Supplemental Restrictions before Surgery
In addition to the immediate fasting period before surgery, you need to share with your surgeon what forms of daily vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements you take and what medications or over-the-counter drugs you are currently on, especially any type of aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood thinners. Some nutritional and dietary supplements can create complications during an operation. Your surgeon will know what supplements you may need to stop taking for a period of 1 to 2 weeks prior to your surgery to avoid any interference with your procedure. You will also be advised if you can take your prescription medications, with a few sips of water, or if you need to avoid the medicines on the day of the operation. This preoperative information is very important if you are a diabetic or have a heart condition.
Airway and Lung Conditions
Your surgeon and your anesthesiologist will need to know if you have any obstructive airway issues, lung disorders, or sleep apnea. They will then take extra precautions to monitor your breathing before, during, and after your operation.
The most details you share with your surgeon, the more successful your operation will be without any additional complications.