Advances in symptom management have made it easier for many of the more than 30 million Americans with diabetes to successfully manage their condition. However, diabetes is a condition that’s not entirely predictable or easily controlled. This is why diabetics undergoing spine surgery should be aware of the potential impact their condition may have during and after their intended procedure.
Increased Surgery Complications
Swelling in legs from high blood sugar levels may increase the odds of surgery complications such as deep vein thrombosis. The stress of surgery itself may elevate glucose levels and trigger postoperative shock. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes also have a higher risk of heart issues associated with surgery, including “silent heart attacks” without noticeable symptoms.
Longer Hospital Stays and Recovery Times
In general, diabetics average a longer hospital stay than non-diabetics. According to one study, patients with uncontrolled diabetes stayed nearly three days longer than those who managed their condition. Post-surgery healing and recovery time can also be longer, especially with spinal fusion. Los Angeles patients should make sure to take preventive measures to manage their diabetes.
Less Pain Relief
A study gauging pain relief after spinal surgery found diabetics were less likely to report significant improvement with pain symptoms than patients without the condition. Part of the reason for this may be increased difficulty with tissue healing and the formation of a successful fusion.
With insurance, out-of-pocket costs for spine surgery in Los Angeles can range from $200 to $2,000, and the total cost can easily exceed $100,000. For diabetics with added complications and an increased risk of failed back surgery, those costs could be even higher when factoring in expenses for additional treatments if surgery isn’t successful.
Prior to surgery, make an effort to manage diabetes symptoms as much as possible. Keeping your weight within a normal range and watching your diet can also help with this effort. Report any changes in your condition to your doctor before your operation. Adjustments may need to be made to anesthesia, surgical techniques, and medications required for post-surgery pain management.
Reach out to The Spine Institute Center to learn more about how diabetes can affect minimally invasive spinal surgery. Los Angeles residents rely on Dr. Hyun Bae to help them start living a pain-free life. Call 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation today.