Surgery and the Pod

I have a surgery scheduled for December 7th. My endo has told me to remove my pod until after my surgery. The surgery should last approximately 2hrs. I can suspend all insulin delivery for only 2hrs. with constant beeping every 15min.–NOT a good thing to be going on during surgery!! I could remove the pod as my endo suggests and have the PDM alarming that there is no active pod. I’ll be heavily medicated for sometime subsequent to my surgery. YIKES!!! Any suggestions??? Anyone undergo surgery while using the Pod??? Help.

Some one smarter than I will come along and answer I’m sure.
Right now all I can do is (((hugs))) and prayers for a quick recovery!

Janice if I might suggest consult with another Endo about disconnect from your pump for such a long period of time. You can disconnect if they will supply insulin through an IV but if it were me I wouldn’t take the chance without insulin. Not to scare you but I have memories of Tootie Fields she was a female entertainer who had D and she wanted cosmetic surgery. Her doctor told her not to take insulin before her surgery so she didn’t. This was many years ago so I don’t know how well she manage her D and if she was T1 or 2. Anyway that was her downfall from that point she just kept declining. So consult with someone else before doing such…like I said unless they will give you insulin through an IV…I wish you well with your operation.

I have had minor surgeries but have always stayed connected to my pump.

I had a recent surgery/procedure that lasted approximately 30 minutes; and the nurse practioner had me reduce my basal by 30%. I’ll be on a liquid diet for 24hrs prior to surgery and for the subsequent 24hrs. My current endo is well respected in the community; and has been reaponsible for sponsoring many diabetes seminars here. I’m a little confused. The first time worked out well.

Thank you for the hugs.

I remember the story about Totie Fields. She used to appear on The Merv Griffin Show. Oops!! Did I just reveal my age??

We are all “up there”, girlie (LOL). I remember Totie!!

I would not want to disconnect for two hours; My recent angiogram in October took about 30 minutes, but I was awake and aware during the whole time, AND wearing my MM 522 pump. Coincidentally,I ended up reducing my basal by 30% as well, as I had to fast overnight and have no solids nor fluids until after the procedure. I was able to check my blood sugars as much as I wished, prior to prep. I got to the hospital 3 hours before the procedure, and I noticed I was in the high 70’s, not low, but I did not want to go any lower, so I went from a 20% reduction to a 30% reduction. I was there in the hospital for about 7 hours for the out-patient procedure ( it got a late start), and my blood sugars were never lower than 74, nor higher than 96…so It was uneventful blood sugar wise.

Your procedure sounds more involved, but I really would not advise a total disconnect. Do they plan to run an IV with insulin… or is the staff not certain that they can manage that without direction from the endo?

Prayers going your way, Janice, for a successful surgery and outstanding outcome!!

God Bless,


I think Totie died from cancer. Of course made worse with diabetes.

I was told to reduce my basal by 30% for the first procedure. When I arrived at the hospital my BG was 70 as well; and the doctor(not sure just who) started a glucose drip to keep it from dropping lower. I went home with a 110 reading. Everything was just fine. This time, I’ll be spending at least one night in the hospital if all goes well. I’ll also be on a liquid diet for 24hrs prior and 24hrs subsequent to my surgery.

If your question is “how to avoid the obnoxious beeping when you suspend?” the answer is to change the basal to 0u/hr during the surgery and then return it to normal later - no beeping involved.

Precisely!!! Thanks. My mind isn’t quite working like normal lately.

I guess you have to do what the doc requests but I would check with the surgeon too.

I had my gaul bladder removed about 5 years ago. The old doc supervised a newbie so it took longer than normal, about 2 hours. Both my doc and the surgeon said no bigger to leave the pump in as long as my sugar was more than 100 when I started. It was 120ish at the start and they checked every 30 minutes. I was on the Cosmore pump at that time.

All worked fine for me. I hope yours goes smoothly too.

Hi - Instead of “suspending” insulin for 2 hours, use your “temp basal” setting instead and bring that down to -100%

Yikes, no insulin for that long sounds a little scary. My sugars skyrocket from the stress after having surgery but doctors know best. I have an Animas ping and can reduce my basal all the way down to “OFF” for any amount of time. I always do that instead of suspending because of the beeping. If you can put your basal rate down to OFF with your pump it might be easier than suspending it. Good luck!

This sounds lke a good option… This way, since I’ll be “out of it”, my OmniPod will return to normal delivery on its own. This what ClumsyChemist suggested also. I can set the temp basal just prior to their coming to take me away for surgery. Thanks to you all for your imput. I understand that the PDM requests specific comfirmation to reduce basal by more than 95%.

If you do have to remove the Pod completely you can remove the batteries from the PDM to stop the beeping.

I have a Ping, not a Pod, but I don’t understand why your endo would want you to be without insulin for that long. I know my BS would skyrocket if I had my pump off for that long – it happens when I turn it off for an hour let alone 2. It would be a lot easier to me to disconnect my pump than you because you are throwing away both the pod and the insulin. I would ask your endo why he wants you to disconnect and explain your concerns to him.

Good luck with your surgery!

Thanks, Kathy. I’ll be turning my basal rate to off (Temp Basal) just before they take me to surgery; and set it for 2hrs. This way the Pod will resume normal basal on its own. I’ll be on a morphine drip following surgery. The last time this pain management was used, I could barely think, let alone do anything.

I could offer the advice I was offered when competing in competitive sport that would not allow me to use my insulin pump. It involves working with your endo very closely, but the suggestion for me was to take one dose of lantus the evening before my competition and set my pump for a 24 hour temporary basal of 0 (working with my endo to determine what dose of lantus would replace my missing basal for the day). I would keep my pump on and bolus as normal for food (could also easily have just done injections) but experience no post-activity spike in BG that I usually would after being off my pump for 2 hours. Since my major worry/issue was that the insulin that I would miss while off my pump would essentially be missing two hour later during it’s peak action time, the use of lantus (or levemir or whatevs) was the best option for me.

Just a thought! It’s very involved, and maybe too involved to be only used this one time, but it could be an option!

Hey Janice,
I had surgery last year on my pod, and I continued to wear it–my endo and my diabetes educator firmly believe in advocating to wear it at all times. Unfortunately due to stress when I arrived at the surgery center my sugar was high. I had to fight off two nurses trying to inject me with a fat needle full of insulin, b/c for some strange reason they couldn’t “get” that I had corrected with my pump, and like most things in life, the change wouldn’t be immediate. I also had to ask my surgeon to make sure they tested my sugar continuously throughout the surgery, and they did, and gave me numbers when I was discharged. My advice: advocate for yourself, wear your pump, and my surgeon suggested that it would be better to err on the side of a tad high, rather than low going into surgery. Good luck, and I’m sure you’ll do great!! :slight_smile: