Dexcom G6 and surgery

I am having outpatient surgery tomorrow and my doctor said I could keep my cgm on. Now the surgery center is saying if it has any metal in it I need to remove it. Does an inserted G6 have metal in it?

Call Dexcom, they might be the ones that know. I bet it does have some small amount but…

Dexcom does not want you to wear Dexcom anywhere near CT/MRI etc but for the most part, we just ignore their warning. Especially for CT scans, ERCP’s, Kidney stone surgery, colonoscopy, etc. Most surgical units are now used to people on CGM’s and pumps.

The G6 is an electronic device. The sensor has a subcutaneous probe wire which conducts electricity and the transmitter contains a circuit board which can detect the electric current sent on the sensor probe and then transmit information about that to a monitor device via a protocol probably similar to BlueTooth.

So, yes, there is a bit of metal in it.

Any idea why on earth the surgery center would care about a trivial piece of electronics? Is this like being required to turn off your computer when a plane takes off or lands for fear it might possibly perhaps, maybe, could be, oh dear Lord, interfere in some way with avionics built to fly through a thunderstorm without getting stressed? :roll_eyes:


@Lisa_Craig I have yet to remove my cgm or pump for an outpatient surgery. The surgery center is going to give you a blanket one size fits all answer, and your doctor will make the final call. I would wear until they force you to remove it, and they better have some solid justifications for removal beyond some arcane decades old policy.

Talk with the anesthesiologist before surgery, pre-op personnel have little understanding or comprehension about managing T1D. I have had multiple surgeries w/o having to remover the CGM, and gotten many compliments on what it does post surgery.

Most hospitals have at least a modicum of experience with both the Dexcom G6 and pumps so if a hospital gave me a general explanation that it is policy without a credible explanation of how the G6 affects their equipment or the procedure, I would seriously question their medical knowledge of the latest best practices to perform my surgery and would seek out another surgical center.

Every time I have asked in advance they say “no” to CGM. But I think they’re just trained to say no to everything. (They also tell me not to take any insulin 12 hours prior to surgery which is TOTALLY bogus and OBVIOUSLY wrong).

Every time I talk to the anesthesiologist before surgery he lights up and tells me how great it is that I have a CGM and to just make sure I turn off the receiver so it doesn’t buzz or beep.

I know for sure they fingerstick me right before surgery and I suspect if the procedure takes an hour or more they are fingersticking me during too.

As I’m coming out of it after surgery one of my early priorities is finding my receiver and turning it back on :slight_smile:

One warning: for many of my surgeries they will pump me full of IV steroids without telling me. If I ask the doc they will admit that’s what they do but they’ve never told me without asking. So I have to bump up my insulin doses a lot in the days following surgery.

to be a little safer, you could remove the transmitter (test strip around the edges)during the surgery, but i agree with everyone that unless they’re doing an mri or ct scan, it doesn’t seem important other than snoozing the alarms

Thanks for the feedback. Surgery went well and I kept my cgm and pump on. The anesthesiologist, nurses, and surgeon had no problem.

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I am guessing that may be why my insulin needs have been higher since surgery. Thankful for the Tandem pump and G6.

I’ve worn my G6 for CT, Xrays, & MRI’s. No problems. And in the last 3 months, I’ve had 3 major surgeries with the G6 on. No problems.

But as an aside, I do remove my t:slim pump for the CT, Xray, & MRI procedures.

For what it’s worth, I had a full body CT scan while I was using a CG5 and the technicians told me that I had to remove it. I questioned it and then they contacted Dexcom. They came back saying that Dexcom advised it should be removed as a precaution. I got the impression that the advice from Dexcom was related to it being a precaution so as to avoid damaging the electronic components of the Dexcom CGM sensor/transmitter. Could the CG6 require a different precaution? I don’t know.

During colonoscopies, I have kept G6 on but have turned the omnipod pump off. During a cath heart test. I kept it on but the nurses monitored it. But if they want u to take it off and you do not u are taking the risk.

I have intense anxiety about being put under because of my blood sugar. That increases if they tell me to take off my dexcom.
I’ve been putting off a colonoscopy just for that reason. My doc says I can keep it and they will monitor it. Still I’m not really excited about anesthesia

I have never been under anesthesia for a colonoscopy. They definitely give you something to relax the colon, but I have able to watch the procedure and talk to the physician during the whole procedure. There are reasons to avoid colonoscopies but anesthesia is not one of them. If your doctor opts to knock out his/her patients for colonoscopy, you can find a different doctor.

Don’t keep putting off getting a colonoscopy Timothy. Your CGM will be monitored. The anesthesiologist and surgeon certainly don’t want you to become hypoglycemic. Get an early morning appointment and take less insulin. The procedure doesn’t take very long. I am not brave enough to watch the procedure, and my doctor has never given me the option, but it might be right for you.
For me, the preparation is by far the worst part of getting a colonoscopy.

You don’t need to be put under. Some are performed totally without any anesthesia but is not something I would want to try, however, if you do that you can drive yourself home which is about the only advantage I can think of. The colonoscopy drugs today are amazing. I used to dread going through this process but being on the 5 year plan, the last 2 have been a breeze. I think they gave me propofol and I really enjoyed watching the entire procedure on TV while a couple of nurses maneuvered my guts from the outside and the doctor did his thing. I have gone through this with both the Dexcom G5 and G6 with no issues. Colonoscopies for diabetics are usually performed in the morning, the earlier the better.

One thing to consider is that, depending on what’s happening where you get your medical care, the system may be so overwhelmed and understaffed that it will be more than happy enough to put off your colonoscopy for you.

Seriously, this is something to consider. Most people don’t realize how covid has degraded our medical system in the US, Canada, and probably many other places. We just always assume that if we need medical assistance, it will be there. That is what civilization is all about, no? We haven’t quite gotten our heads around how frayed around the edges our civilization is right now.

In my case, I have multiple cavities. One tooth is already bad enough that the best solution is to just pull it. But my dentist has cancelled my last three appointments to begin to address this.

The last appointment was canceled because he was in the hospital for heart arrhythmia. I hope he recovers because the last thing I want to do is try to find a new dentist at a time when the medical system is so stressed. :scream:

I think the US medical facilities are in feast or famine mode. As Omicron peaked, the medical staff was burning out and shuffled around to meet Covid needs. It appears that Omicron is just now starting a precipitous decline so my estimate is that within the next few weeks hospitals will be, once again, begging to do elective procedures as they were up and until Omicron surged. That, of course, is with the assumption that another raging variant will not promptly replace Omicron.