Over 18 million Americans have diabetes and many will require surgery at
some time in their lives. For the person with diabetes surgery
presents several challenges. Before and after surgery the individual may
require adjustments in the diabetes
regimen to maintain acceptable blood glucose levels.
In preparation for surgery there are several things you need to do to help manage your diabetes:
What should your blood glucose levels be prior to surgery? (Based on American Diabetes Association Recommendations)
Before meals: 90-130 mg/dl 1-2 hours after meals: less than 180 mg/dl
Surgery and anesthesia cause the release of stress hormones. These hormones make the body less sensitive to insulin. All individuals with Type 1 diabetes must continue to have an insulin source during the surgery. It may be necessary for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, even if managed before with meal planning, exercise, and oral agents, to have insulin administered during the surgery period.
A major effect on diabetes after surgery is related to variable food intake and ability to take fluids. There is a risk of both low and high blood glucose levels due to the stress of surgery and due to possible nausea or vomiting as food is reintroduced.