Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is a liquid preparation used to cleanse the bowel in preparation for abdominal surgery. It is a very salty drink that after ingestion will cause you to have stools until your bowels are emptied.

The day before your surgery, you should have your last “real” meal by 12 or 1 pm. No later than 1 pm you will need to drink the bottle of magnesium citrate prescribed by your surgeon. You need to stay home after ingesting this. You are allowed clear liquids after the magnesium citrate up until midnight, at which time you are to have nothing to eat, drink, smoke, or chew until after your surgery. Clear liquids include 7 Up, chicken broth, Jell-O, WATER, apple juice, cranberry juice etc. (anything you can see through). No orange juice or coffee is allowed.

It is important that you do consume clear liquids until midnight (or until you go to bed, whichever comes first) so you do not become dehydrated.


Hibiclens is a soapy solution used the night before and the morning of your surgery. It is used to lower the bacterial load on your skin, thus decreasing the risk of infection. While showering, scrub your entire body from the neck down. Do not put any lotion, powder, etc on after showering. Please ask the hospital for this at your pre-op appointment with them.


Ambien is a sleeping medication that may be taken the three evenings prior to surgery (one pill each night). This is optional, and used at patient discretion. It is important that you get adequate sleep before surgery.