Driving after surgery

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/20/2011 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, just wondering how long after colectomy surgery was it before you were able to drive again, i havent been given any specific time frame by the nurse, so just wanted to find out when other people started driving again after surgery.
dx with crohns in 1999.
Fistulotomy operation in 2001.
tried pentasa, imuran, infliximab - all have failed.
Currently on predisone steroids, calcichew, ciprixon, folic acid.
Waiting to speak to surgeon now about next step to deal with crohns - ileostomy looking a possibility.
Left hemicolectomy july 2011 - colostomy. Hoping for reversal eventually.

Bay Area Guy
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 8/20/2011 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a temp ileostomy for about 2-1/2 months. I waited for about a month after I was discharged from the original operation to start driving. Once I had the ileo reversed, I waited for about two weeks after the stitches were removed before I drove. While I had the bag and for about two more weeks after the stitches were out, I put a pillow over my bad and/or stitches while I drove, just to make sure the seat belt didn't either rip the bag off or irritate the wound.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 8/20/2011 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I drove the day after being released from the hospital. As long as you're of pain medication you're fine to drive.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 8/20/2011 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I waited a week just because my mom was visiting for that week to help me and insisted on driving. But I could have driven sooner.
Stephanie, 29 years old

March 2000-Diagnosed Crohn's Colitis
(Tried every drug imaginable, but lived 10 years with daily diarrhea)
March 18, 2010-Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy! :)
(Now med free, 4 subsequent procedures to correct blockages at stoma site)

Stoma named Zoe...She's my best bud!! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 8/20/2011 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't drive for a month after surgery, but I was still on some pain meds and I personally didn't feel up to driving until then. I think you will know yourself when you feel ok to drive. I also didn't like the seatbelt directly on my stoma so I put a small pillow or towel over my stoma then the seatbelt over that. I also could have driven sooner but just didn't want to. Take your time and don't push anything your not completely comfortable with. Take care

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/21/2011 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Once I was off pain meds:)
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 8/21/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
In the UK I had to check with my insurer, who the askedme to check with my GP. For laproscopic surgery I had to be confident to make an emergency stop, but I'd wAited 4 weeks. For my c- section it was after6 weeks.
38 yr female living in the UK, originally from Austria
diagnosed in 2002 with Crohns which has since spread throughout the large colon and to the rectum; meds: Pentasa and optional Pred until Aug 2008; now on Humira, temp ileostomy on 7/19

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/21/2011 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your replys, its been 4 weeks now since the surgery and im not on any pain meds, so i think i will get back driving this week, just need to get the flat tyre on my car fixed now and im sorted. :-)
dx with crohns in 1999.
Fistulotomy operation in 2001.
tried pentasa, imuran, infliximab - all have failed.
Currently on predisone steroids, calcichew, ciprixon, folic acid.
Waiting to speak to surgeon now about next step to deal with crohns - ileostomy looking a possibility.
Left hemicolectomy july 2011 - colostomy. Hoping for reversal eventually.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 8/21/2011 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon told me that once I was off any pain meds (I was when I came home all I was taking was tylenol) and I could make a sudden stop if I needed to, I was ok to drive. I waited till this week, so about five weeks after my op but that's because my butt wound was still pretty sore and it was kinda hard to move suddenly... I missed the convenience of being on my own schedule though!

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 8/22/2011 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Since we're retired and he was still on pain medication we waited almost 8 weeks. Longer than necessary but whenever he would be in the car so was I so I opted to drive and "chauffer" him around...lol.
Wife of 64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) & now pain free

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 8/22/2011 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
It seems like I waited until I'd been home for two weeks, so three weeks post-op. Could have maybe done a little sooner, but there was no need so I didn't rush it.
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery 3/22/11, Steps 2 & 3 TBD

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 8/23/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon said as long as I could do an emergency stop and I felt ok with the meds I was taking, then it was fine. I think it was about 14 days post op in the end.
Sarah - 39 year old mum of 2 boys, runner/triathlete, health and fitness writer from UK
June 2010 - Peritonitis caused by perforated diverticulitis. Emergency surgery.
August 2010 - Sigmoid colectomy and temp loop ileostomy
October 2010 - Ileostomy reversal - but didn't go well and after 10 months diagnosed colonic dysmotility due to surgery/nerve damage
July 2011 - Permanent end Ileostomy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 8/24/2011 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Agree with off med. I hate driving so I waited 2 months, until I had to go out and weather too bad to walk.

Seatbelts make me crazy still. I just drove 13 hours (Just stopping for gas and bathroom) from Canada to South Dakota and when I got there my whole appliance was a mess and leaking out and had to be changed. I thought it was just sweat from how hot it was. No!! Wondered how I smelled when I walked in. Glad everyone was asleep and I didn't see them 'til morning. Left windows open in car all night and sprayed it down. washed clothes out and then stuck them in machine to wash next day.

On the way back I stopped more regularly and kept pouch as empty as possible. Trip was much better at end. I've had leaks just coming home from gym or party before too. That belt is just annoying.

I guess I'm just a slow learner.
Those things we keep trying to do get easier not because the feat gets easier but our ability to "do" gets better.
Thyroid cancer removed 1988
Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
Tried every drug without much success
Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009
6 Grown kids, grandkids and a great husband to keep me busy

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 8/24/2011 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Trigirl - I find if I use a small pillow over my belly beside my stoma it keeps the seatbelt off of it pretty well. Maybe that would help you out some when you do have to drive?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 8/26/2011 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
my surgeon told me no driving for a month. but as long as you aren't taking meds, and the seatbelt doesn't bother you, go ahead.
-diagnosed with UC Dec 2006 at 22
-allergic or intolerant to all 5ASAs, sulfa and 6-mp
-emergency transverse colostomy on 9/13/10 from perforated colon
-J-pouch surgery step 1 of 2 3/21/11
-Takedown 6/13/11
I <3 my J-pouch!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 8/27/2011 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not necessarily being off pain meds that is important. Some people, like myself take them every day anyway, but it is how you feel in yourself. If you cannot move quickly to make emergency stop, feel tired or sleepy or are concerned about your fitness then don't drive, wait a few days until you feel better. Going back to driving has ranged from 5 days post op to 4 weeks post op depending on what surgery I had and as nearly all of mine were open incision procedures this takes longer to recover from.
Crohn's dx 1989, loop ileo 1992, end ileo 1992. Arthritis developed 1990 Stoma abcess 1995. Azathioprine started 1995. Panprocolorectomy 1999. Stillbirth 2000, antiphospholipid syndrome dx 2000. Flare up 2004, stoma abcess and strictoplasty 2004. Low blood pressure dx with impaired kidney function 2006, fludrocortisone pres. flare up 2010, azathioprine, codeine, immodium, simethicone.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 8/29/2011 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I drove probably about 2.5 or 3 weeks after, once I was of course off pain meds and able to stand the bumps and jarring of country roads. With my open surgery I still had a sensitive incision, and like people have said, a small pillow or towel across your stomach where the seat belt lays is often necessary.
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