Preparing for surgery when you have diabetes

Before Surgery

Insulin and diabetic tablets may need to be omitted or have the dose altered pre-operatively. If you have been given instructions by your endocrinologist then follow those instructions. Otherwise talk to your surgeon or anaesthetist about your diabetic medication.

Diabetic tablets called SGLT2 inhibitors, or gliflozins, can cause serious problems when having an operation. The generic name of these tablets will end with ‘gliflozin’. They are also found in combination with other medications. Tell your surgeon or anaesthetist as soon as possible if you are taking one of these tablets as they may need to be stopped 3 days before your operation.

After Surgery

You or your nurses should check your blood sugar often. You may have more trouble controlling your blood sugar because you:

  • Have trouble eating
  • Are vomiting
  • Are stressed after surgery
  • Are less active than usual
  • Have pain or discomfort
  • Are given medicines that increase your blood sugar