Perioperative Management of Patients with Diabetes

Health Serv Insights. 2017 Nov 15:10:1178632917735075. doi: 10.1177/1178632917735075. eCollection 2017.


Hyperglycemia has long been recognized to have detrimental effects on postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing surgery. The manifestations of uncontrolled diabetes are manifold and can include risk of hyperglycemic crises, postoperative infection, poor wound healing, and increased mortality. There is substantial literature supporting the role of diligent glucose control in the prevention of adverse surgical outcomes, but considerable debate remains as to the optimal glucose targets. Hence, most organizations advocate the avoidance of hypoglycemia while striving for adequate glucose control in the perioperative period. These objectives can be accomplished with careful preoperative evaluation, clear patient instructions the day of surgery, frequent blood glucose monitoring during the perioperative period, and use of effective strategies for insulin initiation and titration. This article highlights the major issues concerning patients with diabetes undergoing surgery and reviews the management recommendations put forth by general consensus guidelines and expert opinion.

Keywords: Perioperative; diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review