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surgery and diabetes

Has anyone had surgery of any kind with having T2diabetes? How did your sugars react? Did you have to adjust meds?
I am going for knee surgery in May. I think my biggest concern is glucose control the day of and following surgery. I am expected to be day surgery but possible overnight.

  1. great question! Thanks for reaching out about this. I did a quick search on our site, and if you click this link (https://type2diabetes.com/search?s=surgery), you'll be able to see all of the articles that discuss the experience of living with T2 diabetes and going through surgery. Additionally, we hope you receive some responses from community members on this thread! Have you had the opportunity to express these concerns to your doctor? -Ashlen, Type2diabetes.com community moderator

    1. I've had two heart attacks within four days of each other and then two years later had hernia surgery. Luckily, with maintaining my meds and watching my carb intake (as I usually do anyway), I was able to get through both situations okay. Just do what you can to maintain lower glucose levels. Don't use your surgery as an excuse to slack off and quit paying attention to your numbers.

      1. , thank you for your question. I wanted to let you know that we shared it with our Facebook community members. It sparked a lot of conversations. If you'd like to see their responses, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/Type2Diabetesdotcom/posts/2455325691283474. I hope your surgery will go well in May. Please keep us updated on how it goes if you feel comfortable doing so. Best, Minel (Team Member)

        1. I was very concerned about my well controlled Type II diabetes going crazy from the stress my body underwent during open heart surgery. For the week I was in the hospital post-op, my blood sugars hit 200 often with little or no eating and I began curtailing my food intake, which was not too difficult because of decreased appetite. I requested a meeting with hospital staff and they were initially concerned that if I started an insulin regimen, my sugars might go too low. I stressed this had never happened - even when I went as long as 18 hours without food. They contacted my PCP to verify what I had told them and to confer on a plan of action. They ended up giving me a very low insulin regimen which did very little to curb my high sugars (due to the stress of the surgery and not what I was eating), and I was very disappointed in their half hearted attempt to incorporate my diabetes in the treatment plan. This hospital is the leading hospital in the city where I live and is a teaching hospital associated with a prominent medical school. If this institution was so lax in its advocacy for Type II diabetics, then I wonder what the situation is for the other hospitals in my city with less status. Three weeks after being discharged, I developed neuropathy in my hands, which I had never experienced before and this delayed symptom took me quite by surprise since there was no neuropathy in the hospital when my sugars were really high. I was very concerned this new hand neuropathy might become a permanent condition and my PCP, who has a sub-specialty in diabetes, could not offer any feedback. After several weeks, it did go away, but I feel if my blood sugars had been better managed, I might have avoided this side effect and worry altogether. When I have to undergo surgery in the future, I plan to request communication ahead of time between my diabetes specialist and my surgical team to agree on a treatment plan and/or a course of action with regard to keeping my blood sugars as close to normal as possible during the stress of surgery.

          1. Thanks so much for sharing your story and personal experience. I think you have shared a valuable takeaway from your experience; to stress open communication with your medical team! So important! While that's something that "should" be ahppening, it's a great reminder to advocate for yourself and ask question and as you said, do this in advance. Appreciate you sharing and being part of our community. Best, Kelly, Type2diabetes.com Community Moderator

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