hernia surgery and diabetes

By harry1 Latest Reply 2012-02-28 11:59:49 -0600
Started 2012-02-18 17:45:28 -0600

Yesterday my wife had to take me to an urgent care place because i fell. the doctor came in and checked my ribs and said that i broke 3 of them. while she was talking to me i told her that i think i may be coming down with a stomach virus and i was having pain in my left side she examined me laying down then standing up in which she confirmed that i have a hernia that needs to be operated on. when my wife called to set up the appointment with the surgeron they asked her about my diabetes and my last a1c (which was 12.8) they told her that i will have to go and be admitted in the hospital at least a day before and after the surgery i will have to stay at least 5 days after. has anyone else hear of this and if so why? and what should i expect? me and the wife are worried since hernia surgeries are usually done on an outpatient visit.

11 replies

TraceyLin 2012-02-28 11:59:49 -0600 Report

the reason is that they want to lower your blood sugar levels before the surgery and make sure that your other vitals are okay due to the high levels of glucose in your blood stream. But please, ask your doc all these questions, i'm sure she'll be happy to explain them in detail. Question, question question all the time harry if you really want to know someone will tell you.

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 17:55:27 -0600 Report

Some surgeons will tell you that they need your A1c to be below a specific level before they will do surgery, others say they need to put you on insulin for control for the duration of the stay in the hospital, and some speak to the longer healing time. The bottom line in all of this is that our diabetes complicates cell function and slows healing.

Nick1962 2012-02-18 19:11:02 -0600 Report

Yup, Carol's right. I've had three and it depends on the type of hernia as well. I suspect were talking about an inguinal (either direct or indirect). If it is not possible to do it arthroscopically (through 3 small slits in and around the area, with cameras) and they have to fully open like in the old days, healing is a big issue. They also may not know the full extent without exploration. My last one was just supposed to be a quick arthroscopic job of the left side, which turned into a full blown installation of mesh and staples across my whole abdomen (looks like I swallowed a bag of tiny key rings on an x-ray now). Luckily, they were still able to accomplish it arthroscopicaly (though I looked like a gunshot victim), my A1c was 8 when I went in that morning and I was home by dinner. It will be tender a few days, but I'd have it done before root canal if i had the choice. And be sure you have painkillers in hand before going home!

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 19:59:02 -0600 Report

Interesting, Nick, and funny visual of the xray.

My ex had hiatal hernia surgery which involved going in through the back and breaking a rib (extremely large hernia, also) and later an inguinal hernia. The later was easily repaired. The first one required months out of healing and got him addicted to pain killers which became an almost life long issue unfortunately.

Nick1962 2012-02-18 20:20:04 -0600 Report

I have a friend who had a hiatal as well, luckily he sailed through it, but he was in his 20's at the time (Harry, if you're still reading this, the way they diagnosed you tells me it's not hiatal). Luckily, we both lived in a small town, and with his one and my three hernias, the fact the we were able to be accurately diagnosed and afford to be there meant the chances of us becoming addicts were thin. Even so we were given limited scripts for pain meds, and anything beyond that required full exams and possibly psych consults.
While my stapled belly looks cool on x-rays, it does play havoc with some government building scanners, and as I found out, MRI machines.

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 20:27:44 -0600 Report

Re pain killers: eventually found he had multiple Rxs from multiple docs which he saw periodically. Guess they didn't have releases to talk to each other, or just didn't ask the right questions. He was a serious and sincere engineer type (designed a cardia pacemaker) and didn't look like the world at that time's perception of even an Rx drug user. Perceptions can be very misleading. Glad they are keeping tighter records now, cause a life is a sad thing to waste.

Nick1962 2012-02-18 20:43:04 -0600 Report

I guess that was the beauty of a small town. We only had 4 pharmacies, and most of them communicated with each other as a cross-check to see if there were any conflicts or contradictions (this was before HIPPA), plus we only had two medical "groups". If you were in one group, every MD in that group had your files. If you switched to the other, it was immediately suspect.

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 20:45:37 -0600 Report

Definite difference. My experience was in the greater LA area and nobody talked to anybody and it wasn't because of HIPAA, it was just too big an area from Santa Barbara to Orange County.

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 20:24:28 -0600 Report

Interesing. When I got stents in my heart, I asked about airport scanners and building metal detectors. Received a no for both; didn't think to ask about MRI … suspect that is a good one to know as I don't want imploded arteries.

Nick1962 2012-02-18 20:52:58 -0600 Report

My undersatnding is that most metal placed in the body is stainlees steel which is non-magnetic. A stent is buried so deep it is isolated by magnetic waves because they only penetrate so far. Depending on the MRI, a constant bombardment of the metal may not casue an "attractive" result, but heat up the metal. Some detectors scan for things not "magnetically" but foreign to "biologically".

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 21:02:16 -0600 Report

Thanks. At least I know now that, should I ever need to have one, I should at least raise the question.

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