Adult Fasting Advice for Elective Surgery

This does not apply to pregnant woman coming for Caesarean Section.

For some operations, you may be given specific instructions which should be followed, for example - if you've been given a high energy preload drink by the nurses.

To get ready for your operation you must make sure your stomach is empty of food, but keep yourself hydrated by drinking water.

The following advice is for ADULT patients coming for planned elective operations.

As it is very difficult for us to predict the exact time that you will be arriving in theatre we advise that, if you are;

Due at 08:00 at Hospital

  • Eat before midnight before your operation, and do not have breakfast in the morning
  • Drink water up until coming to hospital

Due at 11:00 or later at Hospital

  • We suggest you have a light breakfast (e.g toast or cereal, avoid fatty foods such as bacon and sausages) before 07:00.
  • Drink WATER up until coming to hospital.


  • Do not drink any alcohol for at least 12 hours before your operation
  • Alcohol can change the acid levels in your stomach and interact with anaesthetic drugs
  • Your operation may also be cancelled if you are under the influence of alcohol