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Two-Day Bowel Preparation

This information explains how to do a 2-day bowel preparation to empty your colon before your urology surgery.

Purchase supplies

Buy 3 bottles of magnesium citrate. You can get this at your local pharmacy. You do not need a prescription.

2 Days Before Your Surgery

Follow a clear liquid diet

You will need to start following a clear liquid diet 2 days before your surgery. Examples of clear liquids are listed in the table below.

While you are on this diet:

  • Do not eat any solid foods.
  • Your healthcare provider may instruct you to not drink anything red, purple, or orange.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of liquids other than water, coffee, and tea. Try to drink at least 1 (8 ounce) glass of clear liquid every hour while you're awake.
  • If you have diabetes, you should drink only sugar-free clear liquids and check your blood sugar often. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.

 

Drink

Do Not Drink

Soups

  • Clear broth, bouillon, or consommé
  • Any products with any particles of dried food or seasoning

Sweets

  • Gelatin (such as Jello®)
  • Flavored ices
  • Sweeteners, such as sugar or honey, may be used
  • All others

Beverages

  • Clear fruit juices, such as white cranberry,
    white grape, apple
  • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, Gatorade®
  • Black coffee (no cream)
  • Tea
  • Juice with pulp
  • Nectars
  • Milk
  • Alcoholic beverages

At 8:00 am, drink 1 bottle of magnesium citrate.

  • Take in plenty of clear liquids all day until bedtime. You should take in clear liquids at your usual meal times and between meals.
  • This preparation will cause you to have multiple bowel movements. It often works within 30 minutes. However, it can take as long as 3 hours to work. People's responses to laxatives vary. Please make sure to stay close to a toilet during your preparation.
  • Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) or A & D® ointment to the skin around your anus after every bowel movement. This helps prevent irritation.

1 Day Before Your Surgery

Continue to follow the clear liquid diet described above.

At 8:00 am, drink 1 bottle of magnesium citrate.

  • Continue to take in plenty of clear liquids all day until bedtime. You should take in clear liquids at your usual meal times and between meals.

At 2:00 pm, if your bowel movements are not clear, drink the third bottle of magnesium citrate.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes water, hard candy, and gum. Take any medication your doctor tells you to take with small sips of water.