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Diabetes and Surgery - How to Improve Your Chance of a Great Outcome

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Updated February 26, 2011

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Diabetes and Surgery -The Signs of an Infection After Surgery
diabetes insulin and surgery

Diabetes and Surgery

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Diabetes After Surgery

After surgery, the need for high quality nutrition and tight glycemic control continues. Nutrition will provide the building blocks for healing and a normal glucose level will promote a quicker return to health. Tight control of glucose levels could potentially shave days or even weeks off of your recovery period when compared to recovery times with elevated blood glucose.

Once the surgery is over and you are into your recovery phase, you will need to aggressively check for signs of infection in your healing wound, in addition to the normal checks you do (such as checking your feet for problems). If you have neuropathy, remember you may not feel pain until the infection is well established. You may want to take your temperature regularly as another way to detect infection.

Signs of a wound infection include:

  • Pus or foul drainage

  • Fever Greater than 101 degrees

  • The incision feels hot to the touch, or is angry red

  • Pain around the incision that is getting worse instead of better

  • Swelling or hardening of the incision site

Sources:

Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Surgical Patients Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, FRCP and K. George M.M. Alberti, DPhil, PRCP. 2002. http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/15/1/44

Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep Your Skin and Feet Healthy. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. May 2008. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications_feet/index.htm

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