Eating less, changing to a liquid diet, or using enemas or laxatives will empty your colon for surgery. In some cases (ie. for those undergoing a Left Hemicolectomy), you may be asked to complete mechanical bowel preparation with Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) solution.
Studies have shown that bowel prep with PEG solution combined with oral antibiotics the night prior to your surgery leads to lower rates of surgical site infections and overall complications, post-operatively.
If your surgeon recommends bowel preparation for your surgery, please follow these instructions:
Buy these supplies at your pharmacy a few days before your procedure: 1 box of Bi-Peglyte®, (contains 2 pouches of powder, 70 grams each), 1 box of Dulcolax®, 5 milligram tablets (you will need 3 tablets), and antibiotics.
Follow these steps on the day before your procedure:
Taken and modified from How_to_Prepare_Colonoscopy_TWHFHT.pdf (uhn.ca)
You should also take in an additional litre (32 ounces) of clear liquids the evening before your surgery.
Ideally, you may and should continue to drink only clear liquids up until 2 hours before your surgery. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids other than just water, coffee, and tea. This will help make sure that you get enough calories throughout the day before your surgery.