Eating For Your Health

Benefits Of Drinking A Pre-Op Beverage Prior To Surgery

by Salvador Hill

Until recently, if you were about to undergo general anesthesia during a surgical procedure, doctors would recommend that you fast, taking in only water, for a period of 12 hours or more prior to surgery. This step was important to ensure that you did not vomit and suffocate during surgery. Today, it is still important to avoid solid foods before surgery, but doctors are increasingly recommending specific beverages, called pre-op beverages, be consumed in the hours prior to general anesthesia. Here are four benefits of using a pre-op drink if your doctor gives you the option of doing so.

Less Dizziness and Fatigue

Not consuming anything for hours on end can leave your blood sugar low, which could cause you to feel dizzy and fatigued. That's not how you want to feel going into a big procedure! Pre-op drinks contain carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar levels steady, which will also help keep you feeling more energized and stable.

Less Stomach Acidity

Are you someone whose stomach feels uncomfortable and acidic if you do not eat for a while? This can be really uncomfortable to deal with when you are also battling anxiety due to an upcoming medical procedure. Sipping a pre-op beverage will keep something in your stomach, helping to battle those feelings of stomach acidity. You'll feel more comfortable when you wake up after surgery, too, since your stomach will not have been empty for so long. If you're someone who often vomits after anesthesia, this can really help.

Faster Recovery

Your body needs good nutrition when it is recovering from surgery. Pre-op drinks are formulated with the vitamins and minerals needed for healing, so when you include them in your surgical plan, your body has all the necessary nutrition to start healing sooner. This is especially important if you're having a procedure that will leave you unable to eat or uninterested in eating in the days following surgery.

Improved Hydration

Dehydration prior to surgery does not set you up for success. Your tissues will not heal as quickly if you are dehydrated, and you may experience more pain and discomfort in the hours after your procedure. Pre-op beverages, much like sports drinks, are balanced with electrolytes to keep you optimally hydrated.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about the specific pre-op drinks they recommend and how to take them. They will tell you how much to drink and when.