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How does surgery affect someone with Addison's disease?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

People with Addison's disease don't produce enough cortisol, which is an important stress response hormone. Since surgery is obviously a huge physical stress, it's important that people with Addison's disease be treated with steroids and saline during surgery, especially if it involves general anesthesia. Hormones and fluids should be given intravenously throughout surgery until the person is fully awake and can take medicine by mouth. Higher doses of hormones are needed during surgery, and after surgery the dosage can be gradually adjusted till it returns to normal level.

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