limit food and drink - Dr. Ashu Goyle - ISPW

Why Do I Need to Limit Food and Drink Intake Before a Medical Procedure?

Why limit food and drink before a procedure?


If you have ever had surgery or a medical procedure, it’s likely that you have been asked not to eat or drink anything 12-6 hours prior to your procedure time. This includes items such as, gum and mints. You might be wondering why this is even necessary, and possibly thinking a little bit of food won’t hurt, but this is  one of the most important guidelines to follow before getting your procedure or surgery done. 

When a patient has a medical procedure performed he or she may be receiving sedation and/or anesthesia, depending on the procedure. The reason why a patient is asked to limit food or refrain from eating or drinking foods/liquids hours prior to their procedure is because any type of chewing on food, gum or mints increases your gastric acid production in the stomach. When you’re given sedation or anesthesia, the sphincter relaxes and isn’t working to it’s full potential. 

The sphincter is responsible for keeping your food down and keeping your lungs from aspirating (food going into your lungs). If the patient has too much gastric acid, food, or fluids in the stomach there is a greater risk that the contents in the stomach may go into the lungs and cause a pulmonary aspiration. This may cause a chemical aspiration pneumonia which in turn may result in a patient having breathing, issues, fever and infection. Worst case scenario, this may cause a patient to have to be ventilated or even death. 

This is why I myself and our nurses at Integrated Spine, Pain & Wellness try to communicate the importance of sticking to the guidelines that are given. Our goal is to keep each of our patient safe and give them the best care possible. 

If you have any further questions about this blog post, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We at Integrated Spine, Pain & Wellness love talking to patients and answering any question they may have. 

You can reach out to us at or call 480-660-8823  find out about the treatments available. Schedule an appointment to talk to Dr. Ashu K. Goyle on any question you may have. Dr. Goyle is a fellowship trained anesthesiologist and interventional pain specialist who offers effective, non-narcotic health solutions.  We would love to hear, understand, and treat you with any pain you may be experiencing. Our clinic specializes in the latest treatments and services to keep you feeling and looking your best.  

As part of delivering the highest quality of individualized care, ISPW accepts insurance health plans offered by insurance providers like Humana, Cigna, Aetna and many more. Check out the full list here.

Follow us on Instagram for our daily educational posts on chronic pain topics, healthy habits and living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. You can also find him on YouTube

Integrated Spine, Pain and Wellness

 7425 E Shea Blvd. 
 Suite 102
 Scottsdale, AZ 85260.