Bowel Preparation for Your Gynecologic Surgery

This information describes how to prepare for your gynecologic surgery.

Purchase Supplies

Purchase the supplies listed below at your local pharmacy. You don’t need a prescription.

  • 1 (238 gram) bottle of polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX)
  • 1 (64-ounce) bottle of a clear liquid

Your doctor may have sent prescriptions for the following antibiotics to your pharmacy:

  • Metronidazole (Flagyl®, Metrogel®) 500 milligram tablets
  • Neomycin (Neo-Fradin®) 500 milligram tablets

Be sure to also pick up these antibiotics, if needed.

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The Day Before Your Surgery or Procedure

Follow a clear liquid diet

You will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before your surgery. Examples of clear liquids are listed in the table below.

  • Don’t eat any solid foods.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of liquids in addition to water, coffee, and tea. This helps to make sure that you get enough calories. Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass every hour while you’re awake.
  • If you have diabetes, drink only sugar-free clear liquids and check your blood sugar level often. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.
  Drink Do Not Drink
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Clear consommé
  • Packaged vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
  • Any products with any particles of dried food or seasoning
  • Gelatin (such as Jell-O®)
  • Flavored ices
  • Sweeteners, such as sugar or honey
  • Water
  • Clear fruit juices, such as apple, cranberry, and grape juices
  • Soda and sports drinks, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, and Gatorade®
  • Tea or black coffee (no cream)
  • Juice with pulp
  • Nectars
  • Smoothies
  • Milk or other dairy products
  • Alcoholic beverages

Take your MiraLAX bowel preparation

The MiraLAX bowel preparation will cause frequent bowel movements, so be sure to be near a bathroom the evening before your surgery.

  • Mix all 238 grams of MiraLAX with the 64 ounces of clear liquid until the MiraLAX powder dissolves. Once the MiraLAX is dissolved, you can put the mixture in the refrigerator, if you prefer.
  • At 5:00 pm on the day before your surgery, start drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation. Drink an 8-ounce glass of the mixture every 15 minutes until the container is empty.
  • After you’re finished drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation, drink 4 to 6 glasses of clear liquids. You can continue to drink clear liquids until midnight or until you go to bed, but you don’t have to.

Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) or A&D® ointment to the skin around your anus after every bowel movement. This helps prevent irritation.


Take your antibiotics, if needed

If your doctor instructed you to take metronidazole or neomycin before your surgery, take them according to the following schedule.

  • At 7:00 pm on the day before your surgery, take 1 metronidazole tablet and 2 neomycin tablets.
  • At 11:00 pm on the day before your surgery, take 1 metronidazole tablet and 2 neomycin tablets.

Other instructions

  • Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery, unless your healthcare provider told you that you could.
  • Take only the medications your healthcare provider instructed you to take. Take them with a few sips of water.
  • Follow any additional instructions your healthcare provider gave you.
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