I have just come out of hospital following a coronary angioplasty. I feel tired and sore, but I'm told that I will be well enough to return to work within a week or two. My concern is that after the operation the cardiac nurse advised me that I should not drive for six weeks. I can't understand why driving should be considered dangerous if I am well enough to return to work. My journey to work will be more stressful and strenuous by public transport than by car. Is the six-week ban a legal or medical requirement?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
The rules about driving are set by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. If you read the fine print on your driving licence you will see that you are required to inform the DVLA of any medical condition that may affect your fitness to drive, but only if the condition will last for more than three months. On coronary angioplasty, the DVLA says "driving must cease for at least one week", and that the DVLA does not need to be informed. If you hold a HGV or PSV licence, however, you must stop driving for six weeks. Assuming that you are not a heavy goods vehicle driver, there is no medical or legal reason why you can't start driving a week after your angioplasty. You should be sensible, however, and not drive if you don't feel well enough to. The DVLA rules are on their website: www.dvla.gov.uk.
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