For some types of bowel surgery, you may need to follow a special diet or take some medicine to empty your bowels beforehand. For example, you may need to take a laxative for a few days before the operation. You will also be asked to not eat or drink for a period of time on the day of the operation. Your doctor or nurse will advise you about this.
If you are going to have a stoma after the operation, you will meet a stoma care nurse who will explain what is involved. This is a good time to share any questions or concerns you have about the operation. If you think you may need help when you go home after surgery, for example because you live alone or care for someone else, tell your nurse as soon as possible. It will help them to make arrangements in plenty of time.
Some hospitals follow an enhanced recovery programme, which aims to reduce the time you spend in hospital and speed up your recovery. It also involves you more in your own care. For example, you will be given information about diet and exercise before surgery. You may be given supplement drinks to take too.
Any arrangements needed for you to go home will also be organised for you. Your doctor will tell you if an enhanced recovery programme is suitable for you and if it is available.