This handout explains the steps you need to follow for your bowel prep as you prepare your bowel for surgery. Please note that “clear liquid” means no sediment, no fiber, and no pulp. Clear does not mean colorless.
Water, sparkling water or soda
Gelatin (no added fruit or topping) homemade from box only
Popsicles with no pieces of fruit or fruit pulp
Broth or bouillon
Juice with no pulp (apple, no orange)
Coffee or tea, no creamer – sugar is ok
Gatorade® or other clear sports drinks
No alcohol or dairy products
Ensure Clear® 4 pack
The Evening 3 Days Before Surgery
Mix GoLYTELY® prep with warm drinking water to the top of line on bottle and shake. It will look clear.
Store this in the refrigerator and use within 48 hours. It is okay to add Crystal Light® powder mix to each glass.
2 Days Before Surgery
Drink the prep today. Clear your schedule of other duties for the day.
Drink only clear liquids all day and up to 2 hours before the surgery.
If you take scheduled medicines, take them at least 1 hour or more before or after drinking the prep.
At 9 am (or earlier) - If you take morning meds, it is okay to take them with the 4 bisacodyl tablets. Do not chew or crush.
After your first bowel movement, start to drink the prep. Drink 1 8oz glass every 10 minutes. You may stop when you drink half of the bottle or your stools are clear. If you see sand-like grains in the toilet, drink one cup of prep at a time until all solid matter is gone, and it looks clear. Do not sip slowly. It works better if you drink quickly. You will likely feel cramps. This is normal.
1 Day Before Surgery (This is your travel day)
Take your antibiotics today if needed. Drink 3 bottles of Ensure Clear® starting 1-2 hours after you finish the GoLYTELY®. If there are antibiotics to take as part of the prep, you may drink Ensure Clear® when you start the antibiotics. Save the 4th bottle of Ensure Clear® for the morning of surgery.
Follow the antibiotic schedule below. Do not follow the instructions on the pill bottles. Call with questions.
3:00 PM - Take the 1st dose of antibiotics.
5:00 PM - Take the 2nd dose of antibiotics.
10:00 PM - Take the last dose of antibiotics.
Do the skin prep for surgery. This is shower #1.
The Morning of Surgery
3 hours before surgery, drink the 4th bottle of Ensure Clear (10 oz.). Follow the details the nurse from First Day Surgery gave you. If you can have clear liquids until 2 hours before the surgery, you may have:
Black coffee. Sweetener is okay.
White grape juice
Give yourself a Fleets® enema at least one hour before you leave for the hospital.
Do the second skin prep for surgery. This is shower #2.
When to Call the Doctor
If you have questions
Steady stomach pain
Light-headed or dizzy
No bowel movements
Cannot drink the prep
Important Phone Numbers
Digestive Health Center
Toll free: 1-855-342-9900
After hours, holidays and weekends ask for the doctor on call for