Recovery - how long before you can drive?

How long after surgery was it until you could drive?

I waited about 8 days then drove to airport.
The experience was not the best and I was still very stiff in the neck and don’t really suggest it so soon.I had my son drive me as needed till about two weeks out.
And have been able to drive pretty good now at just over a month.
Listen to your body and try not to do to much turning, as for me when I did turn a little to much the pain was very deep and uncomfortable,


It was about 2 weeks I think after my first surgery before I could turn my head well enough to drive, if I remember right a bit sooner after my second surgery. It does vary alot with people, but best to be forewarned!
Not long til your surgery, what date is it?


Thank you Jules!
Were you able to walk 10 days out? Would walking a mile be out of the question for someone 10 days out? Walking might be safer and easier on the neck than driving (less head turning).
Nov 1 is my surgery, so less than a week away. I live alone so it could be dicey trying to recover and not be able to run out and get things.
I’m off the blood thinner (Brilinta) for the surgery and do notice these things ramping up: tinnitus, head/neck/ear pain, insomnia, neck crunching.
I just hope I make it to surgery (me and the surgery team are all healthy). There is so much ick going around now (flu, covid, rsv, general colds,…)


Thank you meKanX!

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You should easily be able to walk a mile by 10 days post op, @juliezuber, especially if you’re pretty fit. I was out walking w/in that time frame, even on percocet which made me pretty loopy. I’d recommend Extra Strength Tylenol for pain control if you’re in pain but need to be out & about, just so your head is clear. As noted though, listening to your body is your best bet. If you feel especially tired or sore on a given day, that’s a good time to stay home & take it easier.


I also wanted to chime in and say while those that have been through this surgery say you’ll likely be able to walk a mile ten days post-op, plan ahead for anything!

My general advice when having any surgery is to get as much set for yourself ahead of time as you can, especially when living alone. Run your errands, stock your fridge (for this surgery a lot of liquids and soft foods), do your laundry, take care of all house chores and outdoor stuff, see if a neighbor can grab your mail every couple of days, see if someone can help walk a dog if you have one and so on. Likewise, ask your surgeon to send post-op meds to the pharmacy for you to pick up before surgery and have at home waiting for you! Make sure to get yourself some good reusable ice packs, a nice heating pad, comfy clothing and so on.

Then set up your recovery zone, be that your bed/room or sofa/living room or whatever! Set up a basket with slippers and socks and underwear, several sets of comfy pajamas, magazines and books, chargers for phones and tablets and whatever else so you can plop down and not get back up again for a while. Also, are you being kept overnight in the hospital or going home same day? If the latter you’ll need someone there for 24 hours post-anesthesia just in case you’re super groggy (you should be told this). During recovery take advantage of any resources you have like delivery apps for usual errands and so on! Good luck!


It felt like a mile walking from the ward to the car park when I was discharged :joy:
Seriously, I was fine, I did quite a long walk with my sister not that long after surgery, so hopefully you’ll be fine :hugs:


Great suggestions @slekeille! We have a suggested food shopping list but you’ve taken post op/recovery care even a step further. I really appreciate what you’ve shared!


I have more tips!

Specifically for AFAB post-op:

You might find that you have difficulty urinating in the days to a week after surgery. This is because the anesthesia used during surgery and potentially the opiates you take after surgery can cause bladder retention. The absolute best tip that I used to use in my own patients in hospital, and that I’ve used on myself after every surgery I’ve had is to bring a cup of hot water to the toilet with you, as hot as you can stand, and/or a washcloth soaked in water as hot as you can stand. Then, either slowly pour the cup of water over your clitoral area or, hold the washcloth over your pubic bone, and slowly squeeze it over your clitoral area. The water will stimulate the tense and spasming muscles around your urethra and allow you to relax and urinate. Think of it as the same sensation you likely experience when getting into a hot shower. I swear, it works.

Additionally, breathing exercises, relaxing music, candles or wax melts in your favorite scents, low lights, herbal teas, lots of hydration and so on can help promote a restful environment, and rest scientifically promotes healing.

Lastly, when it comes to pain medication, take them as prescribed on a schedule. Do not wait until your pain is out of control, because it is much harder to play catch-up with pain than it is to keep it at bay and manageable. Taking your meds as scheduled allows them to build up in your system and work continuously, rather than needing to kick in and work on cue. The last thing you want is a pain crisis that shoots your blood pressure up and causes excess swelling and pain, sending you back to the hospital. Patients that are rehospitalized are at higher risk for infection, postoperative complications and prolonged recovery.


Wow! thank you slekeille!


I’ve never had a problem w/ urinating when taking opioids, but bowel movements are another story because the opioids virtually stop the peristaltic movements of the large intestines. It’s critical to start taking a stool softener & laxative or something like Benefiber or Calm (magnesium citrate) starting on surgery day but after the surgery & each day following until the opioid pain medication is stopped.

Another thing that works for urination is to stick your hand under warm running water while on the toilet if your toilet is near your bathroom washbasin. The bowl of warm water that @slekeille suggested could be used this way also.