Full oral bowel prep before laparoscopy/otomy

Has anyone had this, and know what it involves?

I'm due to have a laparotomy that may become a laparotomy, to remove a 9.5cm endometrioma. Gynae said I should have a full oral bowel prep the day before in case of any bowel repair is needed during the op. He said I would drink liquid that would clear out my bowel. The instructions that came with my appointment letter give generic instructions for a lap and don't mention the prep.

Called GP surgery and secretary but so far no-one is sure where this will be administered, or if I do it myself - hoping for some clarity on that before long!

I will be in a hotel for the day and night before, so in particular I'm wondering about timings.

Also, what's it like, any tips etc..

10 Replies

  • Yes you do it yourself, go to the pharmacy and ask the pharmasicist for a bottle of bowel prep, they'll tell you when to use it.

    I had a bowel prep and lets just say your never going to want to do it again, what it does is it clears out your bowel so your ready for surgery, I believe once your completely cleared out pale yellow liquid is all you should see, don't eat anything either.

    As a heads up get diaper rash cream or vasaline to put around your bottom, bike juices from your liver with cause this area to crack and if you don't protect it it'll burn.

    My bowel prep lasted about 4 hours.

  • Thanks for the tip, I'll take some vaseline with me!

  • I've done it before - you should get senna tablets to take first and then another laxative that you drink. You need to do a low residue diet (low fibre) for a couple of days beforehand but there should be instructions for that with the prep.

    I honestly didn't find it that bad - it does literally turn the contents of your bowels to water though so be prepared to stay near a loo for a few hours, and have those toilet wipes (the ones like baby wipes) as it can get a bit sore. The volume is also a lot - you have to drink several litres in total so be prepared. Some forums said to chill the bowel prep but I didn't find the taste unpleasant so didn't chill the second lot.

    The only thing I would say is that it took all night, and I was still going to the loo at 6 in the morning (having started at 3 in the afternoon) so I was very tired.

    hope it all goes well.

  • In the UK you certainly shouldn't have to obtain this yourself. It will be provided. As this is being done in a BSGE centre I should ring and ask the endo nurse what the plan is. Why are you having to stay in a hotel?

    I know you weren't too happy with the surgeon - did you join my facebook group for UK women to see if anyone has experience of him?


  • Hi Lindle, yes i would probably have switched but now it seems the op is urgent, so I think I need to stick with him. Date for op is Oct 25th. I called the secretary today, and she is going to get back to me, but various people are on holiday currently, and she thought it may be a few days before she can confirm anything, and I want to book a hotel to make sure I get a room! Booking the hotel is non-refundable.

    The hospital is 65 miles away from where I live. i'm being picked up and taken home by friends after the op. Before the op, I'm planning to stay in a hotel that's a few minutes walk from the hospital, and a close friend is coming to be with me for the afternoon.

    I did join your FB group. For now, I think it may be best not to ask about him on there, as I feel I have to stick with him, and it might not help if i hear something bad at this stage. It was only in the GP letter after the consultation that I realised it is urgent (a previous general gynae told me that I could 'watch and wait' if I preferred, and said there was no risk of rupture. My current gynae disagrees).

  • Hi endometriomas very rarely rupture as the walls of the cyst are so thick. So I really don't think you have to worry about that. I had a 11cm endometrioma. If you have any doubts at all about your surgeon then please find another one.

  • oh dear - this is so confusing..

  • Ultimately to be a named gynae at a BSGE centre he must have the required advanced excision training and his surgical skills are all that matters. I hope it goes OK.

  • I had Picolax for bowel prep. One sachet at 08:00 then one at 14:00. I was advised to have liquid diet two days before operation. The bowel prep day, clear liquid only.

    The experience is ok need to stay close to the bathroom. I lit a scented candle in the bathroom and found this helps.

    Better check with the consultant secretary to confirm the details.

    Hope your op goes well.

  • So i got a call back from the secretary today, she spoke to the gynae who said I don't need a full oral bowel prep after all, I'm having an enema on the morning of the operation instead..

    Thanks for all the advice!

You may also like...