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driving post laparotomy
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driving post laparotomy

can anyone tell me what they were advised by their doctor about when you could drive after a laparotomy? i was given some odd advice today .my doc said normally 3 to 4 weeks but he would suggest i wait 6 weeks because i had a little irritation on my skin from the dressing, that the seat belt might rub the wound site, then he said my wound would proably be fully healed in 1 week. i was planning on driving in 1 week if the wound looks healed,i need to get my kids to school, i dont intend doing lots of driving 2 miles maximum, would be interested in knowing what advice you have been given.thanks.
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9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I was told 2 weeks with my laporotomy (about a 5 inch vertical incision) and I drove in 10 days and felt fine. It was still tender, but not painful. I didnt drive far, but did also need to get my kids to and fro. I think if I would have had any bleeding,I would have refrained longer, but I felt fine.
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117289_tn?1391716425
You really need to be very careful driving.  Not only does the seat belt rub the incision area, but you twist around to back up, and going over rough roads is painful.  You may want to listen to your dr.  Do not try to rush things and let your body heal.
~Tascha
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Avatar_f_tn
I was told by my doctor that the 2 weeks is very necessary - not even so much because of the wound itself but for insurance purposes.  People have actually been sued and held liable for accidents b/c it was "only 2 weeks out of surgery and the anesthetic was still in their system and how could they possibly be totally mentally clear and physically well to drive?"

i didn't drive until 3 weeks out but i have a stick shift and the seat belt seemed to rub a lot when i would push in the clutch.

i'm driving fine now (5 weeks out) but do find that big bumps and quick stops can hurt a little bit.

take it easy on yourself.  see if you can get carpool rides.  you've got one shot to heal up correctly.

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know that you are unable to sign a legal form until 5 days post op because of the anesthetic.  Also I was told that you are not legally insured for driving unless you can competently perform an emergency stop.  One lady posted that if you can stamp your foot hard on the ground without pain then it is an indication that you can do an emergency stop.  When I got into the car at about 3 weeks I found it difficult to concentrate on all that was going on around me - and it was just a short trip.  So my advice to you is to be extra careful.

If the chaffing of the seatbelt is all that is worrying you then you could put a sanitary pad against the scar to cushion it more.

Good luck.

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140437_tn?1215113342
Yes some insurance companys say 4 weeks some say 6. I personally waited 6 weeks!

Anna x
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for all the great advice, i've tried the stamping of feet without any problems! i'll see how i feel next week. youre so right about not been able to think straight,i cant believe the effects on my memory, it hadnt occured to me that it could be the anasthetic, hope youre all making good recoverys, sharon.
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144480_tn?1208808525
Hello, I had a vertical incision with staples and everything and I could not drive for 6 wks. Depends on what your insurance company allows tho.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was also told 4-6 wks, and at my 4 wk check up, was told that if i could not jump up and down w/o pain, that i could not drive. Well,  i could not jump w/o pain so i didn't drive. I was told this was for emergency stopping rather than pain to myself. I did not drive till the 5wk mark.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was driving at one week and only used the shoulder part of the seat belt.  I think it varies for each person.
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