Why Can’t I Eat Before Receiving Anesthesia?

Many of La Peer’s patients wonder why they can’t eat or drink anything hours before receiving anesthesia and going into surgery. The reason your doctor tells you not to eat or drink anything before surgery is to prevent aspiration.

Aspiration occurs when food or stomach acids enter the lungs while you under anesthesia, which can be fatal in some cases.

When under anesthesia your involuntary reflexes to cough or gag are inhibited.  All of your muscles are so relaxed that you do not have control over them.  If you have food or fluids in your stomach you could potentially regurgitate the contents into your airway and it will consequently enter your lungs.  This can lead to a blockage in your airway, a severe cough, or cause a lung infection.

To decrease your risk of aspiration it is important that you follow your doctor’s pre-surgery guidelines about eating and drinking.

The Department of Anesthesiology at La Peer is solely focused on your health, preparation for surgery, and a successful surgery.

To learn more about the anesthesia please call La Peer Health Systems at (855) 360-9119 or send an e-mail to info@lapeerhealth.com

Los Angeles Outpatient Surgery Center


La Peer Health Systems, Los Angeles Outpatient Surgery CenterLocated in Beverly Hills, La Peer’s medical service focuses on excellent patient care alongside the most advanced treatments and equipment available.

Our multi-million dollar outpatient surgery facility boasts 50 of the best surgeons from the top medical schools in the country with first-class nurses and support staff.

One of the reasons we have so many satisfied patients and excellent outcomes is because unlike large hospitals, our unique structure allows us to offer extremely personal care in a safe and controlled environment. Also, Becker’s ASC Review named La Peer as one of the 100 Greatest Places to Work.

14 departments means we offer comprehensive medical treatment, taking patients from

consultation > diagnosis > treatment > surgery > aftercare




Innovation in medicine is very important at La Peer, which is why we employ a skilled research team to carry out clinical trials and improve our science. We are constantly looking to revolutionize the field of medicine so our patients receive the best care possible. Additionally, we take pride in routinely enhancing the medical procedures, equipment, technology, safety profile and exemplary standard of care that we already provide.

Click on any department above to learn more or contact us today.