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Abdominal or Pelvic Surgery Preparation Instructions

Abdominal or pelvic surgery consists of operations performed by creating incisions on your abdominal wall. Often these procedures require the removal of part of or the entire large intestine and will require a bowel prep prior to your surgery. Alternatively, some operations require the placement of materials in the abdomen such as mesh. Your doctor will discuss the particular procedure with you prior to the surgery.


  1. Stop all aspirin products or anticoagulation meds (i.e. Coumadin or warfarin) for 5 days prior to procedure. Consult your physician if stopping these drugs is considered unsafe. We sometime use a “bridge therapy” for those on anticoagulation with Lovenox injection two times per day. This is started 36-48 hrs after stopping the anticoagulation med and the injection of Lovenox is continued until the evening prior to your surgery. Your anticoagulation will be managed for you while you are in the hospital.

  2. Fill your prescription for your bowel prep two days prior to the procedure.

  3. A clear liquid diet (juices without pulp, Gatorade, coffee, tea, ice pops, broth, and Jell-O) should be started the day prior to your surgery.

  4. Various cleansing regimens will be given by your doctor; we tend to use Golitely, or NuLytely one gallon taken between 1 pm and 3 pm. These may be substituted with a smaller volume prep such as the Fleet Phospho-soda if you have no kidney or heart disease (one bottle at 1 pm and one bottle at 6 pm). Follow each bottle with eight glasses of water. Read all instructions before use. You may store the solutions in the refrigerator because it will taste better chilled.

  5. You may apply Vaseline or A & D ointment to the anus at the start of the preparation in order to prevent irritation.

  6. Do not eat or drink after midnight. You may take your regular medications instructed by your doctor with sips of water or clear juice on the morning of your surgery.

  7. You must call your doctor prior to the date of surgery if you develop any illness such as a fever, cold, sore throat or flu as your surgery will likely be rescheduled and it will save you from completing an unnecessary bowel prep.

  8. Be sure to arrive at the hospital by the time you are instructed which will be at least two hours prior to your scheduled surgery

  9. Do not wear any metal objects such as jewelry or body piercings to the hospital.

  10. On the day of surgery you may shower using soap and water but do not apply any lotion or cream to your skin.

  11. Wear your glasses instead of contact lenses.

  12. You will be given a hospital gown and non-skid socks when you arrive and an intravenous (IV) will be inserted to administer fluids and medications.

  13. You will be transported to a recovery unit after your surgery and you will then be admitted to a surgical floor for the remainder of your postoperative stay.

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In an emergency If your doctor is not available, try to contact us for advice before you to the hospital. A telephone call may save you a lot of time, money, and discomfort.

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