Skip to Main Content

Table Graphic Jump Location
Favorite Table | Download (.pdf) | Print
Preoperative Fasting Guidelines
Minimum fasting timeMaterial ingested
2 hClear liquids (e.g., water, fruit juice without pulp, soda, tea without milk, black coffee)
4 hBreast milk
6 h
  • Infant formula
  • Nonhuman milk
  • Light meal (e.g., tea and toast)
>6 h
  • Intake of fried/fatty foods may delay gastric emptying.
  • The individual practitioner should consider this and make a determination of the appropriate fasting period

  • In addition to the above guidelines, practitioners must also take into consideration factors that may prolong gastric emptying (e.g., emergent procedure, pregnancy, diabetes, hiatal hernia, GERD, ileus, bowel obstruction, obesity [controversial])
  • There is no evidence that smoking one cigarette prior to surgery increases the risk of aspiration
  • It is generally accepted that trauma or acute illness slows gastric emptying. These patients are considered “full stomach” even if >8 hours have elapsed since the last meal

1. American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee. Practice guidelines for preoperative fasting and the use of pharmacologic agents to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration: application to healthy patients undergoing elective procedures: an updated report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters. Anesthesiology. 2011;114(3):495–511.   [PubMed: 21307770]

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessAnesthesiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessAnesthesiology content and resources including procedural videos, interactive self-assessment, real-life cases, 20+ textbooks, and more

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessAnesthesiology

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.