How long are patients NPO after surgery

  1. Just wondering and can't find a straight answer online or in my notes. I know it's usually no food/drink 8h prior and fluids are usually allowed up until 2 hr prior. Just can't remember what was said about after
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MendedHeart
    Depends on the surgery..what kind? And the doctors orders
  4. by   SaoirseRN
    Depends a lot on what type of anesthetic they've had ... Patients who have had a spinal are allowed to eat as soon as they feel up to it.
  5. by   loriangel14
    Drinks and fluids are the same thing. They don't allow fluids 2 hours before except for a sip for meds.

    Like the others have said, it depends on the surgery and the doctors orders. When I get a patient from the recovery room they have usually had ice chips and sips of water. A lot of ours are hyterectomies, choleys, and tonsils. They are ordered DAT so they can have clear fluids when they feel up to it and usally regular diet the next day. DAT gives us leeway to use our own judgement. If the bowels have been involved then it progresses a lot slower.
  6. by   KelRN215
    Quote from loriangel14
    Drinks and fluids are the same thing. They don't allow fluids 2 hours before except for a sip for meds.

    Like the others have said, it depends on the surgery and the doctors orders. When I get a patient from the recovery room they have usually had ice chips and sips of water. A lot of ours are hyterectomies, choleys, and tonsils. They are ordered DAT so they can have clear fluids when they feel up to it and usally regular diet the next day. DAT gives us leeway to use our own judgement. If the bowels have been involved then it progresses a lot slower.
    When I worked in the hospital, clears were allowed up until 2 hours pre-anesthesia.

    To answer the OP's question- there is no set answer. Babies are usually eating as soon as they wake up. I once admitted a teenager who ate a full dinner in the PACU before being admitted to the floor.
  7. by   Esme12
    Depending on the surgery....but usually clear liquids once patient fully awake.
  8. by   canigraduate
    I work on a post-op unit and we generally start people on ice chips, then advance them as tolerated according to how much nausea they have. Exceptions include GI and throat surgeries, where we generally start NPO then advance as the physician dictates. As far as a timeline, there is no set standard that I am aware of. The PACU nurses I know tend to let people have ice chips as soon as they are physically able to swallow.
  9. by   SaoirseRN
    I had a lap-appy patient once who insisted he was STARVING after surgery. I got him just after midnight. His orders were DAT. When the sandwich and juice I got him weren't enough, he called a taxi and had McDonald's delivered. While I did strongly suggest that would not be a good idea, I couldn't really stop him. This lap-appy patient ate 20 chicken nuggets, a Big Mac, fries and a coke.

    Despite the large basin I placed on his table, surprisingly he did not vomit! He did however sleep well.
  10. by   jimithing112
    Also think about what assessment findings you'd need before advancing the diet....bowel sounds, no nausea/vomiting, awake enough to avoid aspirating, etc.
  11. by   mintygirl
    Generally 2-Hrs, but after surgery they usually have a specialist and dietician who monitors the chewing and swallowing of food. Also and foremost, its all up to Doctor's orders.
  12. by   LiLev
    Until they pass gas; they can't eat until their GI system is working again.
  13. by   psu_213
    I've seen written in orders when pt is awake, can sit up and gag reflex has returned. As previously mentioned by others, it is variable based on many factors.
  14. by   loriangel14
    My 86 year old mother had her gall bladder out, went home after 90 minutes in recovery and had a large bowl of porridge, toast and tea.

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