Excessive fasting times before surgery continue to be a widespread practice in Turkey. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between traditional fasting policies and preoperative patient discomfort. Patients included were undergoing breast, hernia, thyroid, or abdominal operations at a general surgery clinic. Participants were classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists physical statuses I and II. A Likert-type scale was used to describe the effects of midnight fasting. Peripheral blood sugar and vital signs were measured immediately before induction of anesthesia. Of 164 participants, mean age was 53.56 +/- 13.47years. Mean preoperative fasting times were 13.34 +/- 3.07h for solids and 12.44 +/- 2.82h for fluids. Immediately before surgery, 6.1% of patients were extremely thirsty, 5.5% were hungry, and 39% had mild dryness of the mouth. There was a weak positive correlation between total duration of solid fasting and thirst, hunger, mouth dryness, and weakness immediately preoperatively. Prolonged fasting before surgery was associated with patients' discomfort. Current evidence-based guidelines for preoperative fasting may improve patients' satisfaction.