Determining whether it is safe to drive after surgery can depend on a lot of different factors. This includes the person height, weight, age, gender, type of surgery and type of anesthesia. Also, everyone feels different after effects of anesthesia so it can’t really be known on person to person basis.
Two people having the same surgery with some of the same histories could have a wildly different recovery time or reaction to the anesthesia.
Driving After Surgery Or Driving After Anesthesia
When someone is given anesthesia even after they are awake, it can dramatically slow their reflexes. It can also slow down your thought process and make it difficult to remember certain things, so driving afterward is definitely not recommended.
Even if someone is having the same day surgery, you might not be able to go through with it if you don’t have a driver. That’ s because if you get into an accident, you could actually be charged with driving under the influence for up to about 24 hours after your surgery.
You won’t want to drive anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after having been given anesthesia because it just isn’t safe. You should also keep from doing a lot of other things like cooking, cleaning, or anything that could lead to injury.
Often people are given prescription pain medication after surgery as well. If that is the case, then you definitely don’t want to drive while using this because it can have some of the same dangers.
This is why many medications have warnings on the label to keep people from driving if they don’t know how the medication really affects them.
Reasons To Avoid Driving
The after-effects of the anesthesia are not the only reasons you shouldn’t drive after surgery. Other reasons include:
– Limitations on strength or range of motion
– Problems with healing and rehabilitation
– Risk of opening sutures
– Slowed reflexes and braking times
– Not able to move with a cast or orthopedic device
– Reduced grip strength
– Problems with vision, including blurriness and eye dilation
– Putting stress on an incision with a seat belt and steering wheel
– Putting stress on an injury by shifting or braking
Drunk driving accidents happen quite often and can be fatal, so you should try and approach driving after anesthesia as something similar. Anesthesia can cause you to be impaired. This not only puts you at risk on the road but puts at risk other drivers as well and can be dangerous.
If a doctor tells you not to drive and you do it anyways then any accident is probably going to be considered your fault by your insurance.
Obviously, everyone needs to be able to drive. It can be hard to function without that ability in many places around the world. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore what a doctor tells you or try to think you’re better able to hand it than others.
Listen to your doctor’s advice and act accordingly.