Posted by: Anon | 2012/08/16

Emergency surgery and food

Dr, could you please explain to me why it is important not to eat or drink before surgery and what happens in a case of an emergency where you for example went out to dinner and on the way home had a car accident and needed some kind of immediate surgery or have a heart attack etc?

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Our expert says:
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If you eat prior to surgery, there is the possibility that the food in your stomach can move up through the oesophagus and land up in your airways. This can be a life threathening situation. Therefore, it is not advisible to eat 12 hours before elective surgery. In the case of emergency surgery, special precautions are taken to protect the airways and the risk of food aspiration far outway the risk of death, in the event of severe trauma.


Dr Anrich

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Our users say:
Posted by: MaFlo | 2012/08/22

You can still suffocate or choke with a shake in your oesophagus. I had an operation as well and wasn''t allowed to even drink water.

Reply to MaFlo
Posted by: Andre Robinson | 2012/08/22

Hi Dr.

If one is on a diet using Supplement Shakes for breakfast and lunch, is this still relevant? The " shake"  should surely be digested and out of the stomach a lot sooner than solid foods? Could a shake be consumed around 5 hours before surgery?

Thanks for your advice.

Reply to Andre Robinson

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