Health & Fitness

February 10, 2014 12:00 AM

Retired surgeon hopes preoperative fasting rule is changed; dementia and sexuality

If you’ve ever had surgery requiring general anesthesia, chances are good that you were told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before. This is to prevent the possible aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs while your normal protective reflexes, such as coughing, are impaired. Though the American Society of Anesthesiologists revised its guidelines in 2011, saying patients can have solid foods six hours and clear liquids two hours before surgery, many doctors still feel safer using the midnight rule, and debate continues.

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