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Clinical Specialties

Diabetes & Day Surgery

Many people with diabetes will undergo surgery or a diagnostic procedure at some stage of their lives. 

If your blood glucose (sugar) levels are elevated at the time of the procedure it can delay wound healing and increase the risk of infection. It is also possible that your blood glucose levels will become elevated at the time of the procedure due to the stress of the procedure itself.

People with diabetes may be required to stay longer or need additional medication or insulin.

One week prior to admission

Make sure you have enough blood glucose test strips and medication for one week after the procedure.

Check your blood glucose levels at least twice a day. Contact your doctor should your blood glucose levels remain elevated (above 15mmol/L).

Two or three days prior to admission

If you are on clear fluids prior to surgery your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication.

For some procedures you may need to cease any diabetes tablets containing Metformin prior to and for 48 hours after the procedure. These include Metforim, Diabex, Glucophage, Apometformin, Metex XR, Diabex XR, Diaformin, Formet and Glucohexal.

If you are taking Forxiga, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Invokana, Qtern, Xigduo XR or Jardiamet it is recommended that you cease taking these medications 3 days pre-operatively  - do not take for 2 days prior to surgery and on day of surgery. Please tell staff that you have been taking these medications on your arrival.

Check with your doctor.

On the day of your procedure

Follow the advice given to you by your doctor regarding your diabetes medication. Do bring your tablets and/or insulin with you.

If you are on insulin make sure you have clear instructions from your doctor as to what amount of medication they want you to have. 

Please tell medical staff as soon as you arrive that you have diabetes.

Do not take oral diabetes tablets on the day of surgery unless your doctor says you may.

What to do after discharge

A family member or friend must drive you home after your procedure and stay with you until the following day.

Patients should only recommence Forxiga, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Invokana, Qtern, Steglatro, Xigduo XR or Jardiamet if on full oral intake. It is advisable to delay recommencement for a further 24 hours - make sure you confirm with your doctor.

Resume normal diet, tablets (except tablets that contain Metformin, unless told you can do so) and insulin when you get home. Tablets containing Metformin can be recommenced 48 hours after discharge and in consultation with your doctor.

Test your blood glucose levels 4 times on the day of the procedure, and 2-4 times a day for one week, then as necessary or as ordered by your doctor.

Organise a follow-up appointment with your GP or diabetes specialist within one week of your procedure.

Contact your GP or diabetes specialist if:

  • Blood glucose levels rise above 15mmol/L for longer than 24 hours
  • There are signs of infection at the wound site, or
  • Uncontrolled vomiting occurs.

Contact the hospital should you have any problems within 24 hours of discharge.

What to do if you have a Hypo

If your experience hypoglycaemias (a hypo) on the day of the procedure have 5-7 jellybeans or half a glass/can of normal soft drink.

Ensure you inform staff when you arrive of the hypo.

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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services