Preparing foryour procedure

You may need to undergo some basic tests to ensure your overall health is suitable for the procedure.

This will depend on your age and health, and could include an ECG (recording of your heart rhythm), chest x-ray and blood tests.

If you’re a smoker and can’t give up completely, try to cut back over the weeks leading up to your surgery; this may help to lower the risk of post-operative complications such as chest infection.

If you need a colostomy or ileostomy, most hospitals have a specialist nurse to help you learn to cope practically and emotionally with the stoma.

You may be placed on a restricted diet for several days before the procedure, a liquid diet the day before surgery, and nothing by mouth after midnight. You’ll be given a drink to empty and cleanse the bowel. You may also be given an enema and/or medication to reduce bacteria in the intestine (to prevent post-operative infection).

Your doctor will have their own specific preparation requirements. These instructions should be strictly followed.

What to take with you on the day

  • Any relevant x-rays or scans
  • Medication you usually take during the day; you'll usually be able to take it
  • Remove all nail polish and don’t wear make-up
  • Leave valuables and jewellery at home (a plain band on your finger may be ok)
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Toiletries and nightclothes
  • Supportive slippers or rubber soled shoes

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your procedure.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.