Abdominal/Colon Surgery


Preoperative: Preparation

A bowel preparation is needed prior to undergoing colon or rectal surgery. You should have already received these instructions. Follow them as outlined.

NO ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN OR ALEVE 7 DAYS BEFORE SURGERY unless otherwise directed by your physician.

Remember, nothing to eat or drink 8 hours prior to surgery (or as instructed by Anesthesia). You may however take your medications with a sip of water.

Postoperative: What to expect

As discussed, do not expect a return of your normal energy level or full recovery until approximately 6 weeks following surgery. But, every day should be better than the day before. Walking is the best exercise you can perform in the postoperative period. Each day, walk a little longer and a little farther than prior. Remember, no heavy lifting > 15 pounds for six weeks.

Your incision does not require special care unless so discussed in the hospital. You may shower/bathe normally. Do not let your incision remain immersed for > 10 minutes. Do not swim or use a hot tub until seen for your postop visit. You may experience a yellow or salmon colored drainage from your incision; don’t be alarmed. If you notice redness around your incision, foul or creamy drainage, call the office.

Unfortunately, pain is a side effect of surgery. Continue to take your pain medications as prescribed. Over time, your pain should be getting better and better. Around 2 – 3 weeks following surgery you should no longer be requiring the narcotic pain pills: rather acetaminophen/Tylenol or ibuprofen/Motrin should be capable of controlling your discomfort.

You may eat whatever foods you desire, but continue to maintain a low fat, high fiber diet.


Resume your daily fiber regimen and continue to drink plenty of fluids. Take the stool softener if so directed. If you have not had a bowel movement within two days following surgery, take 2 tablespoons Milk of Magnesia. If no result in 6 hours, take 1 tablespoon MOM every 6 hours until a bowel movement is achieved.

You may experience blood in your bowel movements. However, profuse ongoing bleeding would be uncommon.

A postoperative visit is needed approximately 2 weeks from discharge. Please call the office to schedule your appointment.

Call the office at 208-424-0280 if you experience:

  • temperature >101.5 degrees
  • redness around your incision
  • foul or creamy drainage from your incision
  • intractable vomiting
  • profuse ongoing bleeding
  • painful urination or foul urine


Patient Guides
In a continuing effort to provide patients and the general public with up-to-date and useful information about diseases of the colon, rectum and anus, the ASCRS offers a variety of educational materials and informational brochures here.
IPAA Guidebook
Everything you need to know to understand the ileoanal procedure.
Patient Instructions

Patient Instructions

Whether you are a Pre-Op, or Post-Op patient… find out what you need to know here. • New PatientsBowel PrepPost-Op InstructionsAnorectal SurgeryColon Surgery