What are pre op drinks?


Pre op drinks are a type of drink, like SurgiStrong RecoverAid ® that was specifically designed to give your body not only the fluid it needs, but the nourishment it needs before surgery. It is a specific combination of complex carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins to fuel you before surgery. SurgiStrong RecoverAid is a clean, clear. and effective pre op drink that is specially formulated to be safe to drink up to 2 hours before surgery. Use SurgiStrong RecoverAid as your pre op drink. Ask your surgeon about RecoverAid®.  Find us on Amazon under pre op drinks.


Challenging the Notion of NPO

By Pat Balsam

Nil per os (NPO) is a Latin phrase meaning nothing by mouth. If you’ve ever gotten surgery (or know someone who has), chances are you’re not a huge fan of NPO. Most healthcare teams in the United States direct you to go NPO for the 24 hours before you have a surgery. Why do these healthcare teams do this? Their answer will likely be about “aspiration”, which means taking something into your airway. Their thought is that if you eat or drink anything in the time leading up to your surgery, it might come up and enter your lungs while you are on the table. This was the idea for many doctors since the 1960s. However, the idea of NPO 24 hours before surgery isn’t true.

In fact, it hasn’t been for a while, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists do not recommend it anymore. They actually recommend a light meal up to 6 hours before surgery and clear liquids up to 2 hours before. Studies have also shown the value of carbohydrate loading before surgery. These benefits include relieving thirst, alleviating anxiety, reducing nausea, reducing insulin resistance (more on this in a future post), preserving lean muscle, supporting your immune system, and reducing your stay in the hospital!

That is why our team at SurgiStrong® created RecoverAid. RecoverAid is a clear complex carbohydrate drink, and can, therefore, be consumed up to 2 hours before surgery. That is a big deal. Recovery starts before surgery. Be SurgiStrong!

Stay tuned for more blog posts explaining our products as well as insights on what’s going on in the medical community!

  1. Bilku D. Role of preoperative carbohydrate loading: a systematic review. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2014. Link
  2. Practice Guidelines for Preoperative Fasting and the Use of Pharmacologic Agents to Reduce the Risk of Pulmonary Aspiration: Application to Healthy Patients Undergoing Elective Procedures: An Updated Report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Preoperative Fasting and the Use of Pharmacologic Agents to Reduce the Risk of Pulmonary Aspiration*. Anesthesiology. https://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=2596245. Published 2015. Accessed June 28, 2019. Link




By Pat Balsam

In 2001, the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society (ERAS) was formed. Four years later, they published their original colon surgery protocol1. After many updates and protocols for different types of surgery, ERAS now has guidelines for over twenty types of surgery. The goal of these protocols is to take the proper steps to have a safer, quicker, and more comfortable recovery. These recommendations include:

  1. Stopping smoking and hazardous alcohol consumption
  2. Correction of nutritional deficiency
  3. Remaining active if possible
  4. Guidelines for your healthcare team to follow
  5. Pain management
  6. Education and counseling
  7. Drinking clear liquids up to 2 hours before anesthesia
  8. Oral carbohydrate loading2

For more information regarding the ERAS Society Guidelines for your surgery, click here.

These recommendations, when followed carefully and completely, have noticeable effects, and are called prehabilitation, or prehab for short. According to OSF Healthcare, prehab “helps patients feel better and/or stronger and improves functioning before treatment, prepares them for the physical challenges faced following treatment, improves their psychological outcomes, decreases hospital readmissions, and reduces health care costs”3.

SurgiStrong® RecoverAid is a clear pre-surgical complex carbohydrate beverage, which means that it satisfies recommendations 7 and 8. Just like whole grain cereal is part of a complete breakfast, SurgiStrong® RecoverAid is part of a complete recovery!

  1. History – Eras. Eras. http://erassociety.org/about/history/. Published 2019. Accessed August 2, 2019.
  2. Thorell A, MacCormick A, Awad S et al. Guidelines for Perioperative Care in Bariatric Surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society Recommendations. World J Surg. 2016;40(9):2065-2083. doi:10.1007/s00268-016-3492-3
  3. Osfhealthcare.org. https://www.osfhealthcare.org/services/rehabilitation/services/prehabilitation/. Published 2019. Accessed August 2, 2019.

Improving Surgery By Talking To Each Other

Watch this great TedTalk by ERAS founder Olle Ljungqvist!