You may need surgery for a diabetes complication or some other problem. Your diabetes may increase your risk for problems during or after your surgery, such as:
Work with your doctor to come up with the safest surgery plan for you.
Focus more on controlling your diabetes during the weeks before surgery.
Your doctor will do a medical exam and talk to you about your health.
Surgery is riskier if you have diabetes complications. So talk to your doctor about your diabetes control and any complications you have from diabetes. Tell your doctor about any problems you have with your heart, kidneys, or eyes, or if you have loss of feeling in your feet. The doctor may run some tests to check the status of those problems.
Talk to your doctor about maintaining good blood sugar levels during surgery. Your blood sugars should be between 80-150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) during the surgery. You may do better with surgery and get better faster if your blood sugars are controlled during surgery.
The doctor may use insulin and glucose infusions to keep your blood sugar steady during surgery.
Check your blood sugars often. You may have more trouble controlling your sugars because you:
Expect that you may take more time to heal because of your diabetes. Be prepared for a hospital stay if you are having major surgery. People with diabetes often have to stay in the hospital longer than people without diabetes.
Watch for signs of infection, such as a fever, or an incision that is red, hot to touch, or oozing.
Prevent bedsores. Move around in bed and get out of bed frequently. If you have less feeling in your toes and fingers, you may not feel if you are getting a bed sore. Make sure you move around.
Call your doctor if:
Seballos, RJ. Preventative medicine: principles of screening. In: Carey, WD. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine. 2nd ed. Cleveland, OH: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:1266-1268.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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