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Diabetes Under the Knife

Posted on November 22, 2021 | No Comments on Diabetes Under the Knife

Having diabetes alone can sometimes amp one’s stress and anxiety meter due to insulin shots here and there, often striking at any given time and place. Adding to the anxiety is the instance when one has to undergo a surgical procedure. To clear your blurry head of questions like “How long will it take for my wound to heal?” and “Will I be able to balance my blood sugar during operation?”, here are some pointers:

Talk to your doctor. Weeks prior to your scheduled operation, talk to your diabetes doctor or endocrinologist and formulate a plan on the best approach to lower the risk of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during your operation. You may ‘ need to adjust your medication doses and timing in relation to the operation.

Schedule operation in the morning. Since one is usually not allowed to eat 6 to 8 hours before surgery, if possible, schedule your surgery in the morning. Doing so will help spare you from high or low blood sugar reactions due to fasting or longer waiting time for operation.

Learn all you can about the surgery. Your surgeon is the next best person to talk to when you are about to undergo surgery. Since he will be operating on your body, he could tell you what to expect physically and emotionally before, during and after the operation. You can find out from him about recovery time, complications as well as food and activities that would or would not be allowed after the surgery. Your surgeon can also suggest the kinds of equipment or medical supplies you might need when you go home after the operation.


Don’t ignore your blood sugars. Blood sugars may shoot up or plummet fast when you are about to undergo surgery. Better blood sugar control ensures better outcomes after surgery, including better wound healing. Use your trusted blood sugar meter to help you keep your blood glucose within the target range specified by your doctor. Insulin may also be required if your blood sugars do soar out of control.

Don’t smoke. Any amount of smoking can impair wound healing. Smoking makes your blood vessels narrower thus reducing the amount of blood flow and nutrients to the wound. Smoking allows carbon monoxide, an oxygen-lowering poison, to enter the blood. Oxygen is crucial to wound healing. It takes 3 days of not smoking to rid your body of carbon monoxide and restore blood oxygen levels.

Don’t stress out. Minimize your stress levels as both physical and emotional stress can raise the blood sugar. Learn about relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, positive visual imagery and the like. People around you may say a thing or two to calm your nerves before your operation. However, if they say something that does not really make sense to you, it would be wise to talk to your diabetes doctor regarding any concerns.

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