Bowel Preparation for Your Gynecologic Surgery

This information describes how to do a bowel preparation before your gynecologic surgery.

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Buy Supplies

Buy 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

Follow a clear liquid diet

You will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before your surgery. A clear liquid diet includes only liquids you can see through. Examples are listed in the “Clear Liquid Diet” table. While you’re following this diet:

  • Don’t eat any solid foods.
  • Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass of clear liquid every hour while you’re awake.
  • Drink different types of clear liquids. Don’t just drink water, coffee, and tea.
  • Don’t drink sugar-free liquids unless you have diabetes.
Clear Liquid Diet
  Drink Do Not Drink
  • Clear broth, bouillon, or consommé
  • Any products with pieces of dried food or seasoning
  • Gelatin (such as Jell-O®)
  • Flavored ices
  • Hard candies (such as Life Savers®)
  • All others
  • Clear fruit juices (such as lemonade, apple, cranberry, and grape juices)
  • Soda (such as ginger ale, 7-Up®, Sprite®, and seltzer)
  • Sports drinks (such as Gatorade®)
  • Black coffee
  • Tea
  • Water
  • Juices with pulp
  • Nectars
  • Smoothies
  • Milk or cream
  • Alcoholic drinks

For people with diabetes

If you have diabetes, ask the healthcare provider who manages your diabetes what you should do while you’re following a clear liquid diet.

  • If you take insulin or another medication for diabetes, ask if you need to change the dose.
  • Ask if you should drink sugar-free clear liquids.

While you’re following a clear liquid diet, make sure to check your blood sugar level often. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.


Take your MiraLAX bowel preparation

The MiraLAX bowel preparation will make you have frequent bowel movements (poop often), so make sure you’re 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 want to.
  • At 5:00 pm on the day before your surgery, start drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation. Drink 1 (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 keep drinking 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 told you to take antibiotics (metronidazole, neomycin, or both) 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 told you to take. Take them with a few sips of water.
  • Follow any additional instructions your healthcare provider gave you.
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