Surgery & Hospital Stays

Most people will require a medical procedure or surgery in their lifetime.

If you’re living with diabetes, you and your doctor will need to do extra planning and take more care than usual.

Before you have any surgery or procedures that require fasting, you will need a diabetes management review. 

Your doctor will establish a plan with you: to manage your diabetes prior to, during and after your procedure.

There are a number of things to consider if you are about to have a hospital stay or surgery.

For most hospital procedures, you will probably need to fast (nothing to eat or drink for a set time beforehand) and you may need an anaesthetic.

A hospital stay may lead to changes being made to your medications, activity levels and eating patterns, which can affect your blood glucose levels.

Also, your blood glucose levels may increase if you feel stress, anxiety or pain.

Managing your diabetes before and after a procedure or surgery can help prevent complications, such as delayed wound healing and infections.

In hospital, both high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) and low glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) are associated with delayed healing, poorer immune response, inflammation and thrombosis (blood clots) and an increased length of stay in hospital.

Hospitals promote the shortest, safest hospital stay and provide an effective transition out of the hospital.

Guidelines for the care of people with diabetes in hospitals include:

  • Diabetes should be well managed prior to planned surgery
  • Anticipate increased insulin requirements
  • Hypoglycaemia must be avoided
  • The person’s diabetes care provider should be directly involved in the management of the patient after surgery
  • Clear written instructions about the individual management of a person’s diabetes should be provided

Information sheets