Letters

Driving after hernia surgery

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7288.735/a (Published 24 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:735
  1. J F Colin ([email protected]), consultant surgeon
  1. Department of Surgery, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital NHS Healthcare Trust, Norwich NR1 3SR
  2. Minimal Access Therapy Training Unit, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XX

    Patients should be advised not to drive for 10 days

    EDITOR—Amid in his editorial and Ismail et al in their short report say that surgeons traditionally advise patients recovering from groin hernias not to drive for a month or two and recommend national guidelines be developed. 1 2 In 1976 we published the effects of surgical operation on the “brake clutch simulator”3 and showed that patients who had an inguinal hernia repair under general anaesthetic were able to perform an emergency stop in exactly the same time as they could preoperatively eight days after operation.

    In an average car braking system, in 1975, a pedal force of 600 lb per square inch would produce an emergency stop of 0.87 g deceleration from 30 mph. The brake clutch simulator consisted of an adjustable car seat with pedals attached via hydraulic links and cylinders to load syringes, together with gauges to monitor the pressure in the brake and clutch lines, and a transducer for pressure recording. Microswitches were provided …

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