Preoperative Clinic | Patient Resources

ImageBefore a surgery/procedure, eating and drinking are not allowed for certain periods of time. Follow these directions carefully to prepare your child. If your child eats or drinks after the indicated time, the surgery/procedure may be cancelled.

Note: No food or drink is allowed in Pre-Op areas.

  • 8 hours before before the surgery/procedure - stop eating solid foods, including: candy, gum, non-human milk (cow, soy, etc.), thickened formulas including commercial ones such as AR (which is added rice).

  • 6 hours before surgery/procedure - stop drinking formula and fortified breast milk. Children over the age of 12 months must stop formula 8 hours before surgery/procedure.

  • 4 hours before surgery/procedure - stop drinking breast milk.

  • 2 hours before surgery/procedure - stop drinking clear liquids.

  • G-tube formula feeding should be stopped by midnight. (Children under 1 year of age may continue G-tube formula feeding until 6 hours prior to the surgery/procedure).

Clear liquids include: water, apple juice, Pedialyte. No carbonated beverages should be consumed during the 8 hour pre-surgery/pre-procedure period.  


Other important guidelines for the day of surgery

  • Plan to arrive at the Pre-op Clinic 90 minutes before the surgery is scheduled. No food or drinks are allowed in pre-op areas.

  • Please bring in all medication bottles, and/or pharmacy receipts, so medication doses can be verified.

  • All female patients over 12 years old and/or who have started menstruating will need to give a urine sample on the day of surgery/procedure for required pregnancy testing.

  • Consents for surgery/procedure must be signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian if under age 18.

  • All jewelry (including body piercing) and all nail polish must be removed.

  • Please remove your contact lenses and bring glasses.

  • We strongly discourage siblings coming to the hospital on the day of surgery/procedure.

  • Plan on leaving the hospital by 11 am on the day of discharge. Please be sure that all arrangements (transportation, work schedules, child care needs) have been made to allow for a morning discharge.

  • Please call the Pre-Op Clinic at 617-355-3765 with any questions.

Special Considerations

Herbal remedies

If your child is taking (or may have recently taken) any herbal therapy or natural remedy (such as St. John's Wort) or any weight-reduction medications, please notify the nurse practitioner or physician during your preoperative appointment. Some of these herbs and medications can interact with drugs used during anesthesia.


Also, if your child has any body piercing that cannot be seen, please let the nurse practitioners and physicians know. All metallic objects must be removed prior to surgery and anesthesia.

Antibiotic resistant organisms & communicable diseases

In order to protect your child and other patients, please notify the Pre-Op Clinic prior to your appointment if your child needs special precautions for antibiotic resistant organisms (an infection that does not go away with antibiotics). We would also like to be notified if your child either has or has been exposed to a communicable disease. Please call 617-355-3773 and ask to speak to a nurse to discuss these situations.