Having a small operation

I’m scheduled to have a small operation next week Friday. It’s an FESS sinus thing. I won’t even be in hospital overnight. I’m just nervous about it, because I have no idea how it is going to affect my diabetes and how to cope with it. I switch between thinking that everything is going to be fine and that the professionals know what they are doing, to thinking that my doc might never have performed this op on a diabetic and they might not have the correct info or might forget that I am diabetic. I makes me want to carry orange juice into the operating room and write “diabetic” in black marker on my arm, just in case.

Am I overreacting? Have you had surgery? How did it go? Any tips on how I could handle this?

I have had surgeries with diabetes. I would suggest you meet ahead of time with your doctors to discuss how it will be takem care of while you are in there. Spefically meet with the Anesthialogist.

If it makes you feel more secure to write “diabetic” on your arm, I’d do it! When I had surgery last year, I made sure I was the first surgery of the day - that way I could be fasting, and not waiting around wondering what my blood sugar was going to do.

Definitely need to discuss this with your surgeon to make sure the surgical team is aware of your condition. I know they will know how to handle whatever comes up, but they just need to be reminded. I like the idea of trying to be first surgery of the day that Marie B said she made sure of. Might be something to talk to your doctor about.

I’ve had two fully-anesthetized surgeries, both with the same surgeon, but with different anesthesiologists. I had the surgeon talk with my endo before the surgery – I would not consent to it until I knew they had talked. I wanted to do that with the anesthesiologist, but he was not identified until that morning.

I also had them as the first procedures of the day.

Also, I made a very big point of letting everyone in the OR know that I was diabetic and that I wanted my blood sugar tested periodically during the surgery, with my meter (I checked after the surgery, and they tested me about hourly). I tested immediately before they put me under, and made sure that they had dextrose available to put into the iv if I started going low.

Make sure that you talk with the surgeon in detail about your condition and talk to the anesthesiologist before you go in.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit of a pain. The anesthesiologist for my first surgery told me that he would have everything under control and did not need to test me during the procedure because there were “other signs” if I was going low. I told him and everyone in the room that either they agreed to check my sugar or I would withdraw my consent to the procedure. It is very important to be firm and precise and not be afraid to speak up.

I agree with everyone here. Speak with your surgeon beforehand. Like Jonathan, I’ve had two fully anesthetized surgeries. After an appendectomy in 2001, a nurse removed my pump and kept it with my personal belongings because she preferred to treat me with injections. With blood sugars that are likely to trend high post-op due to stress and such, this was a terrible idea and I had to call my endo to come down and wrench it back from her while my sugar hovered in the 3 and 400s. So for my next surgery two years later, I felt it was my right to talk about it with the surgeon. He was totally accommodating and did not have a problem with me continuing to pump or explaining how the procedure and post-operative meds would affect my sugars. I felt very comfortable and had a successful operation.

Remember that they are highly skilled and have operated on diabetics before (likely), but they are human. If there’s something you can do to prevent any human error, do so. Many people write in marker on themselves - such as marking which shoulder is to be operated on.

Hi Megan,
I agree with everyone. Don’t be afraid of standing your ground and insisting on what you need. Each of us is different and “other signs” may be comforting to the anesthesiologist, but it isn’t to me and if it isn’t to you tell them what you expect without fail. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So squeak out as much as you need and be comfortable going in and everything will work out fine. And we will all be waiting to hear from you as soon as you can and tell us how you are doing. We are with you and you won’t be alone

I had the surgery earlier today, and I’m must say that I’m really disappointed with my doctor. I had discussed things with him before, and he told me that I was going to be his first op that day. Then, two days ago, they phoned my mother (I was at a conference and incommunicado) and told her I should only come in to the hospital at 9. I phoned the following day, but the person who made the arrangements wasn’t there. In retrospect, I should have demanded to speak to the doctor. When I got to the hospital, they told me they were doing me LAST, despite being well aware that I was diabetic. Even the nurses were upset about it, as they had to stay late to monitor me after the op. I eventually went in to surgery at 12:45 - 13 hours after my last meal!

When I came around and could eat, they served me non-diabetic food! I forced my mother to go and get me something suitable (and it turns out she was incapable of doing it). I only got to eat breakfast/lunch at 16:00. Nobody seemed to care that my blood sugar was spiking afterwards - I had to handle it all on my own, despite feeling icky, high, and doped up.

I’m tired of being the only person who takes responsibility for my diabetes. I guess it’s just something I have to get used to though.

On the other hand, I think the op went ok.