Hi Courtney & Kurt,
I'm not certain what kind of surgery your father-in-law is having but, having had a half dozen abdominal surgeries, a shoulder-repair, and a tonsilectomy myself, I'll comment:
Yes, the primary reason for the food ban is anesthesia and while midnight seems to be cutting it closer than most, it could make sense- from just an anesthesia point of view- for a surgery planned maybe after 11am.
However, if there is going to be any extensive abdominal work (even if it is a possible thing, such as an unplanned aborting laperascopic to
open the patient up) - then I personally would take some caution eating anything that might be constipating
- beginning Wednesday after breakfast.
Even with the often planned pre-surgery enemas, this is a VERY helpful precaution for the patient that might
have extensive abdominal or pubic cavity suturing.
I personally switch to some green gatorade-like drink (not gatorade as it has yucky fructose now) at least
36 hours before any procedure - and stay active to "work things through."
Again, just from my personal experience, I wouldn't be surprised if an O.R. nurse doesn't call before Wednesday and go through a bunch of questions and give more directions, including moving some dietary restrictions back a little.
By the way, ... you joined this forum about the time I had my surgery (in Austin, with Drs. Karnik & Shaw) and had your surgery about the time I went back to work.
..... Happy 12 months!