Surgery with diabetes

I would love for anyone to share any information on having surgery and the healing affect. What are the complications, if any, after foot surgery when treating type 1 diabetes.


Facing surgery is never fun, especially major surgery. By the way, my definition of major surgery is any surgery on me. :wink:

I’ve never had foot surgery. But for every surgery since I was sixteen, I’ve also had Type 1. And I’m almost 69. You do the math. I have had shoulder surgery twice, one including internal staples which were removed during the 2nd surgery. I’ve had carpal tunnel on both wrists. I’ve had four other surgeries on my hands as a result of diabetic side affects. I’ve had lymph nodes removed from my groin. The only surgery I didn’t plan ahead with the surgeon was a gunshot wound. If you, heaven forbid, were to catch me naked, the scars look like a road map.

I have had no real problems with healing, but the dr. made sure my A1C was decent (< 7). The main thing is to inform the surgeon of your condition as far in advance of the surgery as possible.

Keep us posted on the outcome. I’ll be praying for you. (James 5:16 KJV)

Hi Taj - I had my appendix removed two years ago and my healing process was just fine! I have had type 1 for 19 years (I am 23).

I had plates and pins put in my ankle after I fell o the ice and broke it. This was 4 years ago. They had to make 2 big incisions on the outside with a total of 49 staples. I healed well. All the docs were really preoccupied with the db and thought it would interfer with the healing, but it didn’t.
I was very careful to follow the doc’s instructions about after care and have had no problems since, except for the emotional fear of falling and having it happen to the other ankle.
I had a spinal anesthetic and don’t remember much about the surgery.
Good luck with the procedure.

Good evening, Gordie
thank you so much for your reply and for offering prayers. You are so thoughtful and I appreciate your sharing with me. I’m so sorry you had to endure so much but I’m happy your healing process was smooth. I feel positive now. I will keep you posted.

Thank you, again.


Thank you so much for sharing. You give me a positive outlook.

thanks again,


Hello Kathy,
I really appreciate your sharing with me. You give me a positive outlook. I glad everything worked well for you and I feel the same for me, even if I’m much older.

thank you,


I think alot of it is going to depend on how well your diabetes is controlled before surgery. With me, foot surgery would be the worst, I have neuropathy in my lower legs and feet. I had gastric bypass surgery in April 2008 and my laproscopy incisions healed without any problems…Good luck with your surgery. Let us all know how you do with the surgery

I’m sorry but every time I read this title I read “sugary with diabetes”

Lets you know where my heads at.

Anyway Taj, provided that you are in good enough control, I do not see any added complications with healing. I don’t think your doctor would recommend surgery if your diabetes was severe enough to prevent healing.

If you care to elaborate on your situation, I’m sure someone here can share a similar experience.

Good luck my friend.

I have had two foot surgeries since being diagnosed. First one I didn’t have an insulin pump, the second on I did. Try to keep your blood sugars as normal as possible to help healing and reduce risk of infection. For my second foot surgery, I made a point to meet with the anesthiologist before surgery to discuss my diabetes care with him and to show him how to run my pump. I also wrote out exactly where I wanted my blood sugars kept and how to correct and what dosage to correct with and what to do if it went low ie suspend pump, temporary basal etc. I also had my doctor write out a statement stating my ability to show them how to control my blood sugar and my ability to make my own decisions on how to adjust my insulin for highs or lows. I got lucky with him, he said if he has a diabetic that comes in and tells him how to treat their diabetes he says they know more than he does, he also had a nurse working for him that is on the same pump as me so he assigned that nurse to my surgery. The nurse talked with me for about 30 min before surgery discussing where I wanted to keep my numbers at and I showed him how to run the CGMS so he could see what my blood sugar was doing. It also helped that I was only given iv sedation so I was still partially awake where they could ask me if need be about what to do. When I went back up on the floor the doctor told the nurses that I was in control of my diabetes care and what I said needed to be done was what they were to do because my sugar was running in the 70’s I wanted a regular sprite and they were fighting me on getting me a regular soda.

blood flow is critical for healing. That is why a lot of drs get worried about it as diabetics can often have poor circulation in the feet. Do what you can to increase circulation, heat, gentle massage above and below the site.

One other thing they told me NOT to put ice directly on the surgery site, they did tell me i could put it on my ankle to restrict some of the blood flow to help the pain, but putting ice directly on the incision will restrict the blood flow to much and slow the healing down.

I just had a large portion of my colon removed. I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer on Jan 9. My BGs have been good lately and I’m healing up amazingly well from the surgery. Chemo starts in two weeks. Getting cancer makes managing diabetes seem easy…

wow Brian, glad to hear about your success! I hope the rest of your treatments continue to be as successful!

:You are certainly right about making sure that my diabetes is under control before surgery. I definitely want to make sure my A1C is looking good with a good number.

Thank you so much,


Dino, thank you. Well, about five years ago, I broke my little to getting ready for work – moving too fast waking barefoot and smashed my little to on the table leg. Following xrays and ice pack for swelling, taping the broken to the next one. A year later, I found out that I was a diabetic, my little toe did not heal correctly, so now years later the pain has set in to the point of not being able to wear regular shoes, only sneakers.

I am somewhat apprehensive about the whole thing and needed to talk with others, like you guys to give me courage and support.

I thank you so much,

Hi Scott,
This is very helpful, thank you, You are right, circulation is the key.


I am sorry to hear of you surgery; you sound to be a strong man with a relaxed, determined disposition. All the best with your chemo. My cousin just finished her last chemo and is doing well. She will be going back to work part time to begin.

I ;have a prayer list that I shall put you on.

Thank you,

Thank you, Alden, I am glad your husband is doing good considering the surgeries he had to undergo.

The best to you both,


I had shoulder surgery this past September, to remove about an inch of my left clavicle. Weightlifting had caused the clavicle to grow into the acromioclavicular joint and damage the soft tissue there, as well as rub against the other bone in the joint, something that is not supposed to happen. I healed extremely well, much better than average, but I was at physical therapy three times a week for almost three months, with ice and electrical stimulation at the end of every session.

I did not notice any diabetes-specific complications to the surgery, other than running high blood glucose levels the week or two after the surgery due to my inability to get around much and the stress hormones generated because of the surgery and healing process.

I am already back in the gym doing my thing, but the ligaments are still healing. I won’t be 100% until March, most likely. This is normal and not due to my diabetes.