When can I drive after breast surgery?

08 July 2022

Breast surgery - woman in low cut top from aboveBy plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

One thing that frustrates many patients after any type of surgery, whether cosmetic or not, is the limited number of things that they can do in the immediate days and/or weeks during recovery. It’s natural for people to yearn for a return to day-to-day activities as soon as possible.

Being able to hop in the car at any given time and drive to work, to the store, or to visit family and friends is something that we take for granted.

Once a patient has undergone breast surgery, it’s important that they allow their body time to heal, so that can mean avoiding certain chores and activities for a little while - including driving.

How long will it take before a recovering breast surgery patient can drive again?

For the vast majority of patients, they generally feel as though they can begin to drive again around one or two weeks after their breast surgery procedure, though some patients may feel as though they need to wait several weeks - or would even prefer to wait several weeks.

With that said, only your cosmetic surgeon and healthcare team can provide you with a reasonably accurate timeframe. It may also be worth checking your car insurance in case there is clause that restricts you from being adequately insured for a certain amount of time following invasive surgery.

Some patients even feel ready to drive again within 5 to 7 days, but you really should discuss things with your surgeon before doing so.

More strenuous activities like exercise tend to require much more recovery time following any type of breast surgery before they are attempted, so in that regard a return to driving typically happens a lot sooner than other things.

Read: What issues can breast surgery correct?

Why can’t I drive for a while after breast surgery?

Aside from the obvious discomfort patients experience during the immediate days and possibly weeks following the procedure, patients will also likely require pain medication.

This pain medication can cause drowsiness, so until the pain medication is no longer required, driving should most certainly be avoided for the safety of the patients and other road users.

Furthermore, during the early recovery period the body will have reduced movement due to the pain, swelling, and stitches around the breast area. Just putting the seatbelt on would prove awkward and comfortable until the pain has subsided, and some mobility has returned.

It goes without saying that trying to drive without full ease of movement is incredibly dangerous and will severely restrict a driver from being able to adapt to any road situation without being distracted by the pain and discomfort.

Read: How to sleep comfortably after breast surgery

How long will I be on pain medication after breast surgery?

Most women only need to be prescribed pain medication for the first few days after their breast surgery. In certain cases, some women experience pain and discomfort for a little while longer, so in these instances the patient may be prescribed pain medication for a few extra days.

This means that some breast surgery patients feel physically ready to return to driving within a week or so, while others may feel they need to wait two weeks or more.

Are you considering breast surgery? Here at Harley Street Aesthetics in London I offer a wide range of breast surgery procedures, including breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction. To learn more about these procedures, or any other cosmetic surgery procedure, don’t hesitate to get in touch to book in your initial consultation by calling 0845 510 7232, e-mailing info@harleystreetaesthetics.com or by completing our online contact form.


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