TLDR: If you have had a hysterectomy and are wondering about driving after a hysterectomy we look at what you need to consider before getting back behind the wheel.
I’m Rachel and I had a full hysterectomy when I was 30. I had a child, a job and a social life so I was definitely keen to drive after my hysterectomy and confused about when I could.
Firstly there are different types of hysterectomy, so what you have done may alter when you can drive.
Secondly the country you live in may have different rules.
I am going to give you an overview of my experience with driving after a hysterectomy in the hope you find this useful, and can get back behind the wheel and get on with your life.
The short answer to ‘when can you drive after a hysterectomy’ is: Check with your insurance company, doctor and make sure you feel well enough to do an emergency stop and can wear a seatbelt.
Let’s break this down for those that want a little more information about driving after a hysterectomy.
Driving After Different Types Of Hysterectomies
I had keyhole surgery when I had my hysterectomy, but I have had a laparotomy before too to remove one ovary. So I have experience with driving after different types of hysterectomy surgeries.
A laparotomy (AKA open stomach surgery) has a much longer recovery time and you probably won’t get out of bed for the first few days to a week, let alone be considering driving.
I have a really in depth blog on my experience recovering from a laparotomy, which you may find useful if that’s how you had your surgery.
I didn’t do too much but walk and chill for the first couple of weeks after my hysterectomy, which was via keyhole surgery. After about 2 weeks I started to drive again. I spoke to my insurance company who were fine with me driving as long as I felt comfortable and safe.
Something I considered before I drove after my hysterectomy is whether I would be able to do an emergency stop. This could be lifesaving when driving so I wouldn’t have got behind the wheel without feeling I could do this.
Performing an emergency stop puts a lot of very sudden pressure on your stomach, so please careful consider this. You could do a practise one and see how you feel, as long as your insurance company are okay with you driving.
You will also need to wear a seatbelt, across your stomach. This will definitely be uncomfortable at first, so don’t drive until you’re comfortable with this.
This NHS website writes that having someone in the car with you at first might be a good idea, which I think is a really good tip.
Insurance Rules & Driving After A Hysterectomy
It doesn’t seem that there is a one rule fits all when it comes to insurance companies letting you drive after a hysterectomy. The general consensus does seem to be as long as you feel safe and well to do so, can perform an emergency stop and can wear a seatbelt.
If your surgery was keyhole this could be around 2 weeks after but if you have had a laparotomy this will probably be closer to 4 weeks, or more.
I would say always check with your insurance before you drive. That way if you caused a crash and it was your fault they can’t argue with your claim (I don’t think, please note I am not a lawyer!)
I live in the UK, so this may be different for various countries.
Medication & Driving After A Hysterectomy
Something else to consider when thinking about driving after a hysterectomy is medication, if you are on strong painkillers and feel a little spaced out, do not drive.
That seems obvious but sometimes you can get used to the side effects of pain medication making you a little drowsy, so careful consider this.
My advice would be to wait until you are able to function day to day without painkillers. For me, this was very early on in my hysterectomy recovery
Driving After A Hysterectomy | In Conclusion…
- Check with your doctor when you can drive after a hysterectomy
- Ring your insurance company
- Check you can wear a seatbelt
- Practise doing an emergency stop
- Make sure you aren’t spaced out from painkillers
If you want any more advice you can always email [email protected]. Our blog has lots more of my personal experiences on too.
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