Before I can drive?

I'm scheduled to get my ICD next week. They mentioned two weeks before I can drive any more than to the store.

How long was it before the let you drive after the install procedure? - Mike

Was it being away from the local area they were concerned with?


It's a common enough restriction

by crustyg - 2020-06-25 19:16:50

In the UK it's a week of no driving at all after a PM has been implanted (ditto ICD), and if the ICD fires then I think it's a year off driving with no episodes before we're allowed to drive again - they treat it the same as epilepsy. Imagine the effect on your driving when the ICD shocks you.

Your driving rules are state-by-state I believe, so this may be something that only experts in Virginia law can answer.


by AgentX86 - 2020-06-25 21:12:23

I was given a 1-week restriction but I think that was the doctor's recommendation.  I don't believe it's state law.  When I had my seizure the state law was 6 months but the state didn't know anything about it (doctors are not required to tell the DMV).  It was a huge libility issue, though, so I didn't.  You might think about that before you ignore your doctor's restriction.

Be careful of the leads

by LondonAndy - 2020-06-25 21:46:38

I think part of the concern is that it takes a while for the leads from your device to be secured to the heart wall properly, so if you had to take evasive action whilst driving there is some risk of dislodging them, which would render the device useless.

Everyone heals different

by CyborgMike - 2020-06-25 22:51:15

The two weeks is safe broad advice, since everyone recovers different and starts in a different place. You could be in more pain and on pain meds, or maybe light headed from incorrect settings, or seatbelt pain on the incision, etc.  I think most people are fine to drive after a week, although just using one good arm. If you really need to drive sooner talk to your doc after the surgery. My doc let me travel to Singapore 5 days after my implant, but I had to come in and run on the treadmill to prove everything was working well the day I left. 

Pacemaker Fires?

by PandaCub - 2020-06-26 08:15:51

Can you please explain crustyg. I've  just hat a PM due low low heartbeat, below 30 at night and about 41 daytime . It's set 60 - 130 although it's  always been 52 throughout my life. Being set to 60 I presume its firing all the time. 


by CyborgMike - 2020-06-26 13:54:01

@PandaCub, crustyg's comment about firing was in reference to an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator). ICDs are pacemakers, but also have a built in defibrillator that give a massive shock to the heart if the heart goes into fib (like the shock paddles used to help during CPR). Obviously, you wouldn't want that to go off while driving. 

each state is different

by dwelch - 2020-06-26 14:57:08

You need to know the laws for your state with respect to an ICD.  If it fires then it is likely months to a year before you can drive again.  As well as no driving for some number of weeks and if it does not fire in that time then you can drive if not then you cant (legally).  I would expect the durations to vary by state.

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