Diabetes Information for Tests and Surgery

Before Test or Surgery

Diabetes pills or insulin may need to be stopped or changed before a test or surgery to keep your blood sugar in normal range. When your blood sugar is normal you heal better.

  • Call your doctor who takes care of your blood sugar:
    • To make changes in your diabetes pills or insulin to get ready for your test or surgery
    • If you are on a clear liquid diet the day before your test or surgery, ask what liquids you should drink to take care of your blood sugar. The doctor may have you call a diabetes educator for this information.
    • If your blood sugar is above 200 the day of your test or surgery.
  • If you take diabetes pills:
    • Ask your doctor who is doing your test or surgery if a "contrast dye" will be used.
    • If they say "Yes," call your pharmacist and ask if your diabetes pills contain "metformin."
    • If they say "Yes," DO NOT take the diabetes pill with metformin in it for 48 hours after your test or surgery.
    • Call the doctor who takes care of your diabetes and tell them you won't be taking this pill for 2 days after your test or surgery.
  • Check your blood sugar the morning of your test or surgery. High or low blood sugars could cause your test or surgery to be cancelled or delayed.
  • If your blood sugar is less than 70 and you are not supposed to eat or drink anything, choose one of the treatments below to raise your blood sugar (repeat every 15 minutes until blood sugar is above 80):
    • Dex 4 Liquid Blast 2 ounces
    • Dex 4 Glucose Gel 1.24 ounces (can be used under tongue or in cheek)
  • If you wear an insulin pump, keep your pump on and bring an extra infusion sets and reservoirs. Your pump may be taken off during the test or surgery.
  • If you take insulin, bring your insulin to your test or surgery.

When you arrive at the test or surgery area, tell the nurse that you have diabetes. Be ready to tell them what your last blood sugar was before you left home and what pills and insulin you have taken in the last 12 hours.

After Test or Surgery

After test or surgery:

  • You will be told when and what you can start eating again. Check your blood sugar at least 4 times each day for the next 1 to 2 days after your surgery or test.
  • Remember - If your test or surgery used a "contrast dye," do not take any diabetes pill that has metformin in it for 2 days after the test or surgery.
  • Call the doctor who takes care of your diabetes if you have 2 blood sugars higher than 200 or less than 70.

You can also download this information.