NHS Diabetes guideline for the perioperative management of the adult patient with diabetes


  • This document is an abridged and modified version of Management of Adults with Diabetes Undergoing Surgery and Elective Procedures: Improving Standards. It has been adapted specifically for Diabetic Medicine.This article [NHS Diabetes guideline for the perioperative management of the adult patient with diabetes] was written by [K. Dhatariya, N. Levy, A. Kilvert, B. Watson, D. Cousins, D. Flanagan, L. Hilton, C. Jairam, K. Leyden, A. Lipp, D. Lobo, M. Sinclair-Hammersley and G. Rayman] of NHS UK. It is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queens Printer for Scotland.

Dr Ketan Dhatariya, Elsie Bertram Diabetes Centre, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY, UK. E-mail: ketan.dhatariya@nnuh.nhs.uk


Diabet. Med. 29, 420–433 (2012)


These Joint British Diabetes Societies guidelines, commissioned by NHS Diabetes, for the perioperative management of the adult patient undergoing surgery are available in full in the Supporting Information.

This document goes through the seven stages of the patient journey when having surgery. These are: primary care referral; surgical outpatients; preoperative assessment; hospital admission; surgery; post-operative care; discharge. Each stage is given its own considerations, outlining the roles and responsibilities of each group of healthcare professionals. The evidence base for the recommendations made at each stage, discussion of controversial areas and references are provided in the report.

This document has two key recommendations. Firstly, that the management of the elective adult surgery patients should be with modification to their usual diabetes treatment if the fasting is minimized because the routine use of a variable rate intravenous insulin infusion is not recommended. Secondly, that poor preoperative glycaemic control leads to post-outcomes and thus, where appropriate, needs to be addressed prior to referral for surgery.