The team from Harold Wood Hospital in Romford, Essex, UK, surveyed 200 consultant general surgeons and managers of 30 day-surgery units in the UK.
Patients told to drive from the same day to eight weeks post-op.
Advice ranged from it being all right for patients to drive the same day, to patients being asked to wait six to eight weeks before driving. The most common response, given by 38 surgeons, was that patients should wait two weeks.
85 surgeons said they based their advice on common sense and traditional practice, whilst a further 16 stated that they relied on published data. However, even these 16 gave variable advice, say the authors.
Furthermore, many day units did not provide written information on driving after hernia repair or failed to document what information had been given.
Given the potential safety, financial and social implications of driving after hernia surgery, surgeons and day surgery units should be able to provide patients with consistent, evidence-based information on driving different types of vehicles, say the authors.