Surgery and Pumping

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Reinhold posted on Sat, Feb 19 2011 1:27 PM

I'm new to this forum and will be having an outpatient surgery on my hip in a few weeks (hip arthroscopy).  I have type 1 and wear an insulin pump.  I also tend to be sensitive to insulin -- for example, when I have nausea/vomiting and can't eat, I need to significantly reduce and/or turn off my basals to avoid going low. 

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had minor surgery about how they handled the pump.  Did you disconnect during surgery?  Reduce your basals?  Did the hospital monitor your blood sugars during surgery?  

Thanks in advance.  

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Julia replied on Sat, Feb 19 2011 2:07 PM


I wore my pump druing two outpatient surgeries/procedures where I was under anesthesia.  The first was a colonoscopy.  The second was a vitrectomy for a macular hole.  In both cases, I tested my blood sugar myself before the procedure began and in both cases it was about 140, which is where the anesthesiologists wanted it pre-surgery to ensure I would not go low during the surgery.  For the vitrectomy, I had IV fluids during the surgery, and the nurse confirmed that it would be saline only, no glucose, which is important.  After the procedures I tested again, and corrected for the high readings.  I was very pleased that I was able to keep my pump connected in both cases because it made it that much easier to get back to normal afterwards.


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Reinhold replied on Sat, Feb 19 2011 7:39 PM

Thanks for the helpful info, especially about the IV fluids.  

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Simi_Papa replied on Sun, Feb 20 2011 3:54 PM

About the IV fluids, don't just depend on you telling them you are a diabetic.  I did that for two surgeries and they still hung a glucose bag.  Fortunately my wife was looking for this (after the first time) and prevenedt any problems after the second surgery.  So make sure whoever is with you in recovery keeps an eye on the IV bags, just to be sure.  Good luck with your surgery.


"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

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jen1229 replied on Tue, Feb 22 2011 8:01 AM

My mom was in the hospital one time and they couldn't figure out why her sugar was high when she wasn't eating,after surgery.  How stupid some "professionals" are.  they were feeding her glucose in her IV bag. When I pointed it out to them, they changed it and her sugars dropped. I think the should have a great big sign over the bed that says Diabetic, no glucose in IV.

Jen  - LevemirConfused and Novalog Wink A1c 5.8



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I've been diabetic since before I can remember.   I had eye surgery and the Anesthesiologist took care of the insulin and they know exactly what they are doing!  They are well trained and very experienced Physicians.

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I have had several minor surgeries and I've always kept my pump on me.  I have been told most  of the time by the "professionals" to cut my insulin in half but I know better.  When I am under stress - waiting to get it over with  - my glucose goes high so I never change the basal rate before going in. As with some of the other members I have the mistake made of hooking me up to glucose.  I was told the hospital personnel monitored my glucose while I was under but I never let them put me under if I am less than 150.

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renn4p replied on Wed, May 2 2012 11:24 AM

I have had 2 minor surgeries and the first time I left my pump on me and they accidentally cut it off. The second time I took the pump off but demanded they monitor my sugars every hour, my father stayed in the waiting room and told them when to use IVs of insulin or glucose as needed. I have had 3 pump failures while in the hospital so I tend to leave mine off. Make sure your surgeon and doctor are very aware of your choice of how to handle your monitoring and pump that day! Good Luck!

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JoyceL replied on Wed, May 2 2012 11:37 AM


Before your surgery you should ask the surgeon wheter your pump has to be taken off during surgery.  If it is removed an insulin plan has to be created either by your pcp or an endocrinologist during surgery as well as in the recovery room.  If the pump is left on basal adjustments may have to be made by your pcp or endocrinologist during surgery as well after surgery.




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