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Why Can’t I Eat Before Surgery?

Finding out that you need to undergo surgery is bad enough. The idea of being cut open and sewn back together is not exactly a pleasant thought, you have to admit. For many people, once they find out that they need to undergo surgery, they need a little bit of time to get used to the idea. Now, if you have ever had surgery, you will also know that there are certain preparations that you have to make. The night before the surgery, for example, you will not be allowed to eat. Yes, that just makes things worse, doesn’t it? Is there a specific reason for it?

Unfortunately for people who eat when they’re stressed or upset, there is sound reasoning behind the no eating policy before surgery. The reasons may depend on the specific surgical procedure that you will be going through. In general, however, you are advised against eating because of the potential effects that the anesthesia may have on you. Anesthesia, in fact, can cause you to become nauseated. This, in turn, may induce vomiting, which is definitely not a good thing to happen during surgery. For one, vomit might go into the lungs. This can become a fatal issue in some cases. Another complication is that the action of vomiting might interfere with the equipment used to deliver the anesthesia. Worse, the body’s motions when vomiting can cause complications in the surgical site.

If you are scheduled for surgery, make sure that you follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully. No matter how much you have to sacrifice by not eating the night before, think about the potential suffering that you are avoiding by not eating.

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