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Liquids only before surgery?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Did anybody have liquids only 24 or 48 hours before surgery? Do anything else to "clean out" the system in advance?

I met with my surgeon, who told me only that I could not eat the night before my surgery. He also suggested taking stool softeners a couple of days beforehand. I'm worried about the bloating, etc. that seems to be common pot-op, and I've seen other posters say they went on a liquids only diet a day or two before surgery.

Good idea? Bad idea?


  • Good idea to be as "empty" as possible, I think. Had 3 major spine ops in 1 year & went on 48 hr clear liquids only b4 each discomfot afterwards, no "pushing" (against all those stitches & hardware) afterwards...

    Just my experience. Nothing in, nothing out. A few Colace or a bit of metamucil b4 worked well,also. (And after...)

    And surgery + opioids for post-op pain will also slow things down (almost to a halt) so my advice (& my NS agreed) just go w/ jello, popsciles, water, juice etc.

    When you get to the hosp you'll be starving, but who cares?! Your IV will provide everything you need, you'll soon be unaware & when you are recovering after, you'll have one less thing to tire you out! Sorry if this seems "TMI" but believe me, you will NOT want to do much of anything for awhile afterwards, in any dept!

  • Yes. Definitely liquids only before surgery. They also gave me soap to shower with the night and morning before surgery. I did not take stool softners before but I wish I had. They would have helped. The meds will really mess with your system.
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  • They gave you soap? :?? Was it some kind of special soap, what was it for? I've never heard of that.

    Really great suggestion to go on liquids only before.

    I love this site, I learn things that I never would have thought of.
  • Don't forget, not even liquids as of mid-night before surgery. I was allowed only a small sip to take my thyroid medication the morning of surgery. And yeah, it's a good idea to be pro-active in the BM department!
  • treefrog said:
    They gave you soap? :?? Was it some kind of special soap, what was it for? I've never heard of that.

    Really great suggestion to go on liquids only before.

    I love this site, I learn things that I never would have thought of.
    pre-op at the hospital yesterday told me to just start using Dial or some other antibacterial soap here on out. I'm disappointed that I did not get the executive soap treatment

    I also asked the NS if I needed to do a "colonoscopy type" cleaning out the night before...he just said the less full I'm am the better but just insinuated that the standard laxative type treatment beforehand would be sufficient. Then again, he's probably never been laid up after surgery like that to find out
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  • yes I did only liquids for the first surgery but not the second. I really didn't notice a difference. However, when I did liquids only I had a very low potassium post surgery and had awful muscle tremors. So, if doing liquids only make sure you drink things containing potassium.
  • The only thing I was told was no food or water after midnight, the night before surgery.

    Since my surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM, I didn't do anything except a few sips of water after 7:30 PM the night before to give me a 12-hour buffer. I had a lighter-than-normal dinner, but made sure it was a good, healthy dinner.

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter what we say. Each doctor has their own way of doing things. You need to follow your doctor's orders. If you don't, it may postpone your surgery.
  • My instructions were only no food or liquid after midnight and no facial makeup or lotion when I shower that morning. I did take the advice of people on here and have light meals the day before.

    I didn't have too much of a problem because the hospital started me on stool softeners right after surgery, which helped a lot.
  • You do not want anything in your GI tract. Trust me. It could be with you for your whole hospital stay. I was so bloated that the doc asked if I was having triplets (I'm a man). The GI distress was worse than my back pain in the hospital. I'm home now, and really doing well. Walking, taking stairs, playing piano, and limiting my meds. Tennis in July!
  • The Soap is a special antibacterial soap that you use to clean your whole body from top to bottom. I had to shampoo my hair first then use the soap. Not allowed to wear deodorant, perfumes, nothing that has chemicals. This soap is to ensure that you are clean when going into surgery.
    It actually felt like a body scrub and my skin was very smooth afterwards. I wish they sold it in stores.
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