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Driving

Get Well Soon

Helping you make a speedy recovery after a mastectomy

Driving

Your insurance company should be informed about your operation. Some companies will not insure drivers for a number of weeks after surgery, so it’s important to check what your policy says.

There are no hard and fast legal rules about when you can drive after a mastectomy, and some patients may be fit to drive earlier than others. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice, and the views of your insurance provider. Your doctor’s decision will depend on a number of things, including wound care considerations such as the position and extent of your wound, your personal health and medical condition, and your personal circumstances, such as whether you are a Group 1 (car or motor cycle) or Group 2 (bus or lorry) licence holder.

Before resuming driving, you should be comfortable in the driving position and able to control your car safely, including freely performing an emergency stop without damaging your operation wound. You will need to be fully recovered from your operation, and free from the distracting effect of pain, or the sedative or other effects of any pain-relief medication you may be taking, so that you can concentrate fully on driving.

It is advisable not to restart driving with a long journey.

Driving - an exercise

When you are ready, and your doctor is comfortable with you driving, you might want to test your fitness to drive. Do this in a safe place without putting the keys in the ignition: simply sit in the driving seat, put on your seat belt and practise putting your feet down on the pedals. Again, build up gradually. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop. If you feel sore afterwards, you may need to wait a day or two and try again.

Driving – Notifying the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

After a mastectomy, you do not need to notify the DVLA. However, higher medical standards are required for those holding a Class 2 licence, so for reasons of safety and comfort, your doctor may advise some drivers to delay driving for a little longer. You should also speak with your employer.


Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in control of the vehicle at all times and to feel confident that you would be able to demonstrate this, if asked.
 

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