Surgery - can you keep your pump on?

I am scheduled to have a relatively minor surgical procedure. It should take around 30 to 45 mins but will involve a general anaesthetic. The question is will I be able to keep my pump running during the procedure? I use an Animas Vibe plus a Dexcom G4 CGM.

I could ask my surgical team but I suspect that they do not have a lot of experience of operating on insulin pumpers and my experience with the medical profession is that it is always better to be fully informed. Anyone here had similar sorts of procedures done? If so what did you do with your pumps?


I have twice now. I met with the anesthesiologist, kind of went over what was going on and they went "aren't those [pumps/ CGMs] great!?" After I woke up, the first thing I do is scope out the CGM and see what's going on and it worked well both times. The first time, I'd killed my basal to ward off a drop on the way and the rebound got up to 130 which the admitting nurse raised her eyebrows at like it was jacked up and I kind of thought "really? It's not the best but is it the worst number you've seen?" I didn't tell her I'd corrected and was anticipating it to drift down.

It's also been my experience to be the first operation of the day, which is good!

Thanks, that's really helpful. I am supposed to have an appointment with the "Assessment Team" in 2 weeks where they decide if a "Diabetic in his sixties" is fit enough to undergo the anaesthetic. Routine stuff, but I can go over it then.

I will probably have to find a new area for my CGM as I tend to put it around my
midriff and that's going to be close to the surgical site.


I've had several surgeries with my pump. I test before anesthesia and if my bg is lower than 100, I set a temp basal at 50%. This was the case in November 2014 and it worked perfectly. The surgeon and anesthesiologist both told me "this is your area of expertise, you know what to do better than we do". Thank goodness they let me take care of ME.

Good luck and I hope this sheds some light for you.


I've had two out-patient surgeries while wearing a pump. I would try to insure that no pump alarms will go off while you're under anesthesia, like the low reservoir or low battery alarms. I kept my fingerstick meter and a tube of glucose tabs with me until they rolled me into the surgery room.

Ideally you should have no IOB (insulin on board) and a steady sideways BG trend during the procedure, so resist making any corrections in at least the three hours before surgery.

Disclaimer: I do not allow hospital Nurses or Doctors any input/advise on how to manage my diabetes, period. (Heck, I don't even allow them to test my BG, unless I am unconscious.) Did that once, and only once. They almost killed me.

Just don't tell the nurse when your BG is 60...they will run out of the room screaming 'CODE BLUE, CODE BLUE'

Just kidding...sort of. I was just in the hospital for 8 days and at a couple points I dropped into the 60's & 50's. At one point my nurse just happened to be in the room when I checked, a 60. She freaked out! I'm not exaggerating at all, she ran out of the room to call the doctor, because I would not allow her to treat the low. I did it myself, like always...been there done that hundreds of times, no big deal, at all.

Here are some other discussions on the subject