Here's a fact: a high blood glucose level after surgery can raise your chances of having a wound infection from less than 2% to over 10%.
Here's another fact: all patients are at risk for high blood sugar (glucose) after surgery, not just diabetics.
You see, stress increases blood sugar levels. Now when I say stress I don't mean "my boss irritates me, the dog pooped on the carpet, the kids are being bad and I need to make dinner" stress. I'm talking about physical stress, such as having surgery performed on your body. Ok, backup... both of these kinds of stress can actually increase blood sugar levels, but right now I'm more concerned about the stress before, during and after surgery, regardless of the type of stress it really is.
Anyway, I digress. Levels of blood sugar that are too high lead to wound infections, delayed healing and, for some patients, open the door for bigger complications. In general, the higher the blood sugar, the higher the risk.
So, what's a good surgery patient to do?
Simple, make sure your doctor has your blood sugar checked while you are in the hospital, maybe even several times in the day following surgery. If you are having a same day surgery, have it checked before you leave the facility. If you are diabetic, you may want to test more frequently once you are home until your wound is completely healed.
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