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Before Anesthesia

Pre-Operative Oral Surgery Instructions


Erick M. Rath, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Fellow American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
433 South Central Avenue 
Pierre, SD 57501 


It is very important that the stomach be empty at the time of surgery for the patient's safety under anesthesia. Liquids, foods, and some medications in the stomach may cause vomiting and aspiration into the lungs, causing serious complications during surgery.

Parents or guardians of children should continuously observe the child and make absolutely certain there is no food or liquids consumed. It is the responsibility of the patient and/or parent or guardian to follow this vital precaution of NOTHING BY MOUTH.         


Take nothing by mouth after midnight. Do not eat or drink anything for breakfast before coming in to the office.



We ask that you have nothing to eat or drink for six hours prior to the surgical appointment. For appointments in the afternoon, a light breakfast can be taken by mouth. Please do not use milk products as it can be unsettling to the stomach.



    If you are taking prescription medications, please contact our office regarding their use and bring a list of your medications to your appointment. In most situations, we ask that you take your regular medications with sips of water, drinking as little as possible to take those medications.  Patients on blood thinners or medications for diabetes require special instructions and must contact the office prior to surgery.

    Do not consume alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to surgery.


    Notify the doctor if you develop a cold, sore throat, cough, fever or any other illness prior to surgery.

    Wear loose-fitting clothing: sleeves should be easily rolled up past the elbow. Do not wear elevated heels.

    All patients should remove their contact lenses before surgery. Women should remove all make-up and jewelry prior to surgery.

    Patients must be accompanied by an adult to sit with him/her after the surgery until the patient is able to leave the office. Patients will not be allowed to drive or take a public transit home.

    Following anesthesia, patients should not plan to drive an automobile, operate dangerous machinery or undertake any responsible business matters until the next morning.

    A well balanced diet is essential to rapid healing. We  recommend that the patient start their post-operative diet using clear liquids. It would be helpful to have 7-Up or suitable substitute on hand after the surgery. Additionally, depending on the procedure, soups and broths may be used.

    If you are traveling a distance, a pillow and a towel may make your post-operative travel more comfortable.

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