Stents: I was rushed into queen... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

23,671 members15,869 posts



I was rushed into queen Elizabeth hospital,Glasgow with chest pains then after two day rushed to golden jubilee waited 38 hours and was given angiogram and fitted with two stents

Why can I drive a car for four weeks if someone can have angina pains then stents and drive within 48 hours

Anyone know ?


The staff were fantastic in the golden jubilee as were staff at queen Elizabeth too

29 Replies
skid112Heart Star

Hi there,

Because your stents are currently unstable until they bedded in. If there is a problem and you lose blood pressure and pass out driving something weighing 1/2 ton isn't going to be fun.

Won't be too long and you'll be up and running about, get well soon,


Standard procedure I think. It's dvla rules just to make sure your recovering well. Keep the faith you'll find things pretty tough for first few weeks anyway

This is the usual amount of time you can't drive I didn't even have stents but still had to wait 4 weeks before I could drive

According to the DVLA website the minimum is 7 days for having stents fitted. But it’s 4 weeks if it’s heart attack related. If you drive coach, bus and lorry for a living it’s 6 weeks.

Hidden in reply to Gazj

Does that mean 6 weeks for hgv buses and 4 weeks for a car

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Hidden

Yes. You also need to fill in form VOCH1 and return it to the DVLA. This form applies to vocational licences.

If heart attack related it's longer.

I had open heart surgery DVLA say u cannot drive for 3 months I also drive Hgv. I am now at 6 months aNd can still not drive HGV!!

I did inform DVLA like u are supposed to about the heart surgery.

They sent me for an Eye test!!!!! 😮

By the way my eyes are fine no issues at all?? 🤔

skid112Heart Star in reply to BigT2013

Hi there, surgery and anaesthesia can have an affect on eyesight. So there is a little method in the madness.

Have you tried to regain your licence after the eye test?

BigT2013 in reply to skid112

I'm in the process of getting it back they are awaiting reports off cardiologists.

However when I have asked them why I need an eye test the told me point blank they don't know why I have been sent for one!!! 🤔

Nobody can see the reason why!🤔

There is nothing in the DVLA Protocol or policy that states u have to have an eye test after any surgery unless actually eye surgery of course .

I have read that long surgery can cause some visual disturbance but usually only short term.

That's why u are not allowed to drive a car for 6 weeks post surgery (and cleared by doctor)

HGV at least 3 Month's post surgery longer if any cardiac disturbance from op plus u have extra medical 😷 investigations.

skid112Heart Star in reply to BigT2013

Hopefully you'll have it back soon

MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to BigT2013

If they have told you they have written to cardiologist wait two weeks and ring to see if they have had a reply. If not ring the cardiology department to check on status. Because of Type I Diabetes I have to renew my licence at regular intervals. One year I had to chase up the consultant as the DVLA letter was sitting in an intray!

Qualipop in reply to BigT2013

Years ago i had a bopsy. Some months later went for an eye test and needed n ew glasses. In a couple of months t hey were no good so I went back, twice. I was finally told you shouldn't have eyes tested within 6 months of an anaesthetic . It an affect the muscles round your eyes for that long.

MichaelJHHeart Star

If someone was driving 48 hours after stents they were driving illegally! This is also the case for someone who claimed they were driving one week after their bypass - suspect this was netnonsense! Anybody actually doing so is committing a criminal offence and uninsured!


Thanks for all the replies. I’ve only two weeks to go to start driving car again

Think I’ll just inform dvla I don’t want vocational licences to continue

The general DVLA rule is that if you've had a heart attack, then you can't drive for 4 weeks. An angiogram and stent, and you can drive after 48 hours. But it is essentially down to the consultant to define your event. Have you had a h/attack? It may well be your consultant is being extra cautious of course and noting a h/attack, even a minor one. I found that "they" are extra cautious, and "they" don't like defining the severity of any cardiac related episode.

Anyway, while I found it extremely inconvenient not being able to drive for 4 weeks, it would have been more inconvenient to have collapsed at the wheel, with all the resultant potential consequences.

A pal of mine was injured in a head-on with a driver who apparently may have died at the wheel!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I found something called a "bus" which was surprisingly effective, nothwithstanding that I live out in the sticks.

MichaelJHHeart Star

My understanding is that the 48 hours only applies for an angiogram without balloon angioplasty or stents. Once there is any sort of treatment it is seven days minimum and longer if preceded by an event.

My GP checked his computer and DVLA. As I had conflicting views from cardiac nurse and doctors. On DVLA site is guidance regarding Ejection Fraction etc. being over 40% meant I was ok to drive in a matter of weeks. However you should inform your insurance company of your medical condition.

kel55 in reply to jobe1968

just to throw in something to change or over ride this regarding angina. if you have angina at rest then after the statatury 1 month after heart attack. it is the drivers responsibility not to drive while having angina.

But if you want to drive sooner then l must appologise in advance for my next comment: if l knew you l would report you for driving too soon, it is selfish, you are just thinking me, me, me, what about the kid youve just knocked over because youve grimist and closed your eyes in pain! you didnt used to drive a bin lorry did you.....enough said

Hidden in reply to kel55

I’ve no intention of driving so you need not worry about trying to report me I just wanted to figure out the logic in one treatment against another for stents etc

The advice I got from DVLA is that it's MY responsibility to get the letter from the cardiologist and then send it to DVLA with the licence application. That way you ensure the letter doesn't go unattended!

Hi🙋 I'm just out of hospital Hairmyers after having a heart attack, I didn't realise I had one so didn't go to hospital for two days after the attack. I had pressure on my chest but it did go away and I felt fine the next day. My friend insisted I ph Dr to just get checked out so I did and I was told to go to A&E immediately. My pal picked me up and took me to Hairmyers it was suppose to be Queen Elizabeth but my pal says they don't do stents!!i she insisted I had a heart attack 2 days earlier. I got an ECG and it was erratic so Dr said he almost was certain I had a heart attack but blood test would confirm . Sure enough it was , Dr said he was surprised as count was 18 and it should be 11, he said heart attacks can be in the hundreds or even thousands, maybe it had settled a bit as it was two ago my heart attack?? I got an Angiogram , the surgeon carried out an Angioplasty where he fitted a stent, he said my main heart artery was 90% blocked. I've to go back in a month for a echocardiagram , and that shows you the damage to heart muscles ,I'm hoping the damage is not to bad. I was told not to. Drive for a month but I must inform my insurance company but not the DVLA.

Hidden in reply to Foxyhole

Insurance co asks the question “ have you any medical condition which you need to notify dvla “

So if the true answer to that is no why would you need to tell your insurance co

Foxyhole in reply to Hidden

Hi, My nurse said I only have to inform my car insurance company and not the DVLA as I only have a normal licence and not HGV etc. I have to check with my Dr before I start driving again and that was confirmed by Saga ins

jobe1968 in reply to Foxyhole

Yes the count on my bloods just after attack was 3636. So thousands is in the ball park.

Foxyhole in reply to jobe1968

So my count was only 18 so maybe good?

Hidden in reply to jobe1968

My count was 18000 I don’t know if it’s good or bad

I also had a stent fitted 2 weeks ago and told I couldn't drive for 4 weeks. You do have to ph your car ins company but not DVLA.

Hidden in reply to Foxyhole

4 weeks from stents or from heart attack

Foxyhole in reply to Hidden

No sure but I'll just take from when I got my stents in

You may also like...