How Long After a Tummy Tuck Can I Drive?

Doctor Answers 10

Resuming Driving after Cosmetic Surgery

You can resume driving after Cosmetic Surgery when you can make rapid decisions and execute them without the influence of pain pills. Driving while taking pain pills is a felony that may hurt you and or others. It is best to postpone driving until you are off pain pills and can make sudden turns or stops, should you have to. For most people this would be around 2-3 weeks.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Driving after tummy tuck

There are a number of issues relating to driving. Of course your pain should be minimal. You also cannot be on narcotics for pain. You should be mobile enough to maneuver quickly out of the car in case of an emergency, and you should be healing well enough so that any trauma by the seat belt of steering wheel in case of an accident is minimized. Usually this is between 10-14 days post-op, perhaps sooner in minimal cases.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Wait 10-14 Days to Drive Following Tummy Tuck

                  The vast majority of abdominoplasty patients are able to resume driving in about 10 to14 days following surgery.  At this point in time patients have the range of motion which is necessary to operate a motor vehicle.  In addition, they are usually pain free and off narcotics.  It’s important to realize that it’s against the law to operate a vehicle while impaired by any substance.  For this reason it’s important that patients be off narcotics before driving.

                   Resumption of driving following surgery varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors.  For this reason, it’s important to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to tell you when it’s appropriate to resume this important activity.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Returning to driving after a Tummy Tuck

As a general guide it takes about two weeks before you can straighten up due to the significant abdominal tightness. Therefore, you shouldn't even consider driving for the first two weeks. 
After two weeks, being guided by your body and how mobile you are.. If you feel safe to get behind the wheel you can return to driving.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Driving After Tummy Tuck

Pain medications can impair your ability to drive safely. As a result, you should probably wait until after you've stopped taking an pain medication. This may take about 2-4 weeks.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Driving post tummy tuck

The duration is subjective and always varies from patient to patient. I allow my patients to drive as soon as they are feeling less sore, off the pain meds, but not before 7-10 days post op. I also restrict long distance travel for about 10-14 days following the surgery.

Sameer Karkhanis, MS, DNB
India Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Driving after tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

In most instances being able to drive is a function of whether you are taking pain pills which could impair your ability to drive. In some cases this is within 4 days while for others it may take longer in the range of 2 weeks.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Driving after surgery

The advice I give my patients is that they should not drive if they are impaired.  You should be able to operate your car in a safe manner.  This means you have to be able to react and move with out pain and not be inebriated with pain medications.  This is very important from an insurance stand point because your insurance company does not insure you as an impaired driver.

Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How Long After a Tummy Tuck Can I Drive?

Thank you for the question.

It would be best to address specific questions regarding your recovery with your operating surgeon since he/she knows you and the planned procedure ( and is responsible for all aspects of your care). My routine may not be applicable to you and could potentially be  confusing. Having said that, most patients ( assuming they are off “mind altering” medications and can respond to an emergency quickly) are able to drive 2 to 3 weeks after tummy tuck surgery.  Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

How long after a tummy tuck can I drive?

Thank you for the question! Certainly, discuss this with your plastic surgeon, as answers will vary among surgeons. I typically say that whenever you are not taking narcotic pain medications and when you feel like you are strong enough to turn the steering wheel suddenly if needed, then you may resume driving. If you meet those requirements, take short trips around your block with somebody and see how you do. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.