Top of the page
Bowel preparation (or bowel prep) is a way to make sure your bowels are empty before you have surgery. It's done to make sure that you don't have any problems from infection. It is very important if you have bowel surgery. But people also do it before other surgery in the belly or before a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.
There are different types of bowel prep. You may need to drink a liquid that makes you have to go to the washroom a lot. Or you may give yourself an enema. Your doctor will tell you what kind of prep you need.
Bowel prep can be uncomfortable. You may spend a lot of time in the washroom. Some people see results in 2 hours. For others, it takes up to 12 hours. It depends on the type of bowel prep you do.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter R106 in the search box to learn more about "Bowel Preparation: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: August 11, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.