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By-Pass surgery

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by thomaslea1, May 8, 2011.

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  1. thomaslea1

    thomaslea1 Member

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    I know it differs for everyone, but I'm a 70 yr old male who THOUGHT he was in good condition. Had a quintuple by-pass 3 weeks ago. Wondering how long the 'average' shooter is off the firing line after this type of surgery.

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  2. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    don't shoot till the Dr turns you loose. Usually it'll be 12 weeks before they give you the go ahead on activities. I have been over 13 months, I don't let anything slow me too much, but I was very active before, just inherited small cornary arteries. My left pectoral muscles are still painful and I constantly get told everyone heals differently. I'm thinking right now I'll always be in a constant state of inflammation, least that is how it feels. I do lots of heavy labor,putting up hay,building fence etc but digging and swinging an axe just hurts more than I can stand. Good luck with your recovery, and better to be cautious since you don't want to have to go through it again.
     
  3. djldb6

    djldb6 Member

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    Tom,

    Although luckily I am not a CABG patient, I am a cardiac anesthesiologist so here is my two cents.

    First: listen to your doctors :)

    I would bet at a bare minimum you will need to lay off for at least 6-8 weeks because that is how long the bone in the sternum will take to heal (just like any other broken bone) under ideal circumstances. One issue with cardiac surgery vs. other bones is that if they used one of your internal mammary arteries (LIMA, RIMA) to do one of your bypasses, the sternum may heal slower because it has been to some extent devascularized. So like Twinbirds said, it may be even longer.

    Don't push it.

    Not often discussed with patients is how bad a complication with your sternal wound healing can be. Disruption of the sternum, infection and sternal wound dehiscence is a catastrophic complication (which I have seen quite a few come back to the operating room for repair work) and carries an almost 50% long term mortality so you don't want to screw around.

    Shooting a shotgun too early would be bad because 1. it puts a lot of stress on your sternum from supporting the gun itself and 2. there is even more stress associated with the recoil.

    Hope this helps.
    Dan
     
  4. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Listed below is my response (two postings) to another shooter who was asking about his friend's future shooting and recovery following a bypass a few years back. The friend also had a neck artery "roto-rootering" so his recovery rate and practices may have been modified a bit compared to what I had. Also, I did have the mammary artery re-routed for cardiac use, as mentioned by Dan, but I had no problems with sternum recovery. There was a six week restriction (minimum) before any MRI could be done following the surgery. Since you are three weeks out of the OR you, I would have to presume, already know about the coughing and the associated "feelings" it gives you in the chest area. "OUCH!"

    This is my story. You and your Doctor have to make the recovery decisions YOU have to follow. His job and pay are based on his expertise. Your job is to follow his instructions!




    I had a fiver (or at least that was what the Doc told since I decided to take a nap and let him do all the work ;-) on Election Day 2002. By the way that is a GREAT DAY to have surgery since you are asleep during all the BS pumping done by the tv and radio stations.

    I missed the November league shoot two weeks later but made it deer hunting, although in a somewhat less strenuous than my normal manner, just about four weeks later. I did restrict myself to a handgun (.44 Mag) with the admonition that my daughters would have to drag out any deer I got. I gave them a break and didn't get one (only by good luck for my daughters and the deer and bad luck for me). I stayed with the handgun because I thought that the .300 Win Mag rifle might just be pushing it a bit. I did test myself in the few days before by going with a .22 then a .40 S&W and .44 Special before going to the .44 Mag.

    About two weeks after that I shot the December League shoot. I started with those featherlite loads a few days before just to see what it would be like but they were just to lite for me. I went to a 1 oz. standard and there were no problems. I don't recall shooting a great score but I did break more than half of them (about what I normally shoot).

    He will probably have a sore spot in the upper part of his rib cage under his left shoulder for a couple of weeks after the surgery. In my case, that seems to be a bruise left by a rib spreader. It made getting up from bed a bit "more interesting" but it did not affect shooting. It does goes away in a couple of weeks.

    Also in the hospital they will most likely give him a pillow to hug TIGHTLY when he coughs. He will be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to cough to help keep the lungs clear to prevent pneumonia. When he coughs, he will know why he should hug the pillow TIGHTLY. The way it feels when you do it the first few times, well, let's just say that if hugging reduces the pain, I sure as hell would not want to cough without the pillow!!! There is still more than enough with the pillow to bring tears to your eyes the first few times.


    Do the stretching exercises they will start on right in the hospital and START WALKING. My Doc told me to get maybe a mile in a day, not necessarily all at one time. This was maybe three weeks after surgery. After that visit I measured just what I had been walking. It turned out to be about two miles. I kept my normal route and told him about the distance. His comment was if you don't get any pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness from it, keep it up. Your body will tell you what you can and cannot do. Six weeks after surgery the Doc removed all restrictions.

    The main thing is keep moving. It helps the blood to get around and not pool. Staying in bed, literally, can kill you if there are no other factors that would require a more sedentary style.

    His Doc will probably order cardiac rehab around six weeks after surgery. DO IT!!! It not only gets your body back in shape but, and maybe more importantly, it can help convince your mind that you are more than capable of doing things you might have thought could not be done.

    All this is based on only a CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) (pronounced "cabbage"). I do not have any experience about a carotid cleaning so that may, or may not change what he has to do.
    Tell him to keep busy and keep moving and hurry up and get back on the line.




    One thing not mentioned in my earlier posting is to keep the wife at bay. My wife was more afraid of my recovery period and what I was doing (walking, resting with legs elevated, pressure stockings, bp checks etc.) than I was. I did what I was told and she tried to do everything and kept bugging me "Are you sure you feel okay?" and "Do you want me to do that for you?" type of questions.
    I finally had to let her know that I was doing fine and her continued offers of help were appreciated but were definitely not in my best interests. I would let her know when I needed help, for instance putting the pressure stockings on and off.

    She just about panicked when I said I would accompany her to Wal-Mart maybe a week after getting home. By that time the Doc had cleared me to walk, in a controlled environment temperature-wise. I am in northwestern PA and November gets kind of cold sometimes. Wal-Mart proved to be okay since I could use the cart as a support (not really needed but nice to have) and a number of benches to sit if needed were available. I did look a bit funny carrying my heart shaped pillow with me and when the check out clerk tried to see what the price was I told her about $50,000 and she looked at me kind of strange. Then I explained a bit! Incidentally, the Wal-Mart trip worked well since there were no flu or colds prevalent in the area and it gave me a chance to get out of the house and keep from wearing out the carpet from the constant walking I was doing while home.


    One thing to keep in mind is that your medications may require adjustment as to dosage levels and frequency during the first few weeks of recovery. The Doc cut back on the BP lowering meds and the Beta blocker since following the surgery my BP was lowered (probably due to the weight loss I also had that was a part of the entire process) and a bit of lightheadedness and one dizzy spell that put me one the floor when I got up from a chair two or three days home from the hospital.

    If you get any thing that you are not sure of, contact the Doc to find out if it is something that may or may not require intervention.

    Good luck and follow the Doc's orders but also do not be afraid to push yourself a bit within the limits that the Doc sets. They have done their job a heck of a lot more times than you have done your recovery job.
     
  5. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    I like to tell people that have CABG that one of the biggest side effect is something will get bigger. You will enjoy it. Your wife may not enjoy the renewed attention however.

    TB
     
  6. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    I had open heart surgery, actually the heart removed and the installation of an AORTIC #25 Valve on November 14th 2002, and resumed shooting February 2003 on a limited basis, around May it seemd to be all OK. I also had the Cardiac Rehab Exercises at Riverside Hospital in Columbus. To build strength and get the use of my body back, Had sex in January. Started out w/lite loads 1100fps but full 1 1/8th oz shot.

    It will take a while to get healed up properly, I healed fast as a non-smoker, non-drinker, that suprised the cardiac rehab unit on my progress.

    One of the nurses even wanted a go around in the bedroom.

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  7. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    One thing that these other patients have neglected to mention is that you will really feel GREAT when the healing process starts to truly kick in. Had cabgx5 [5 way bypass] in 2003. Stay with your restrictons for as long as the doc says and then give 'er he**, because there are no limits to your recovery. Bill in MI
     
  8. bluedevil

    bluedevil Active Member

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    Had quadruple Oct. 22, 2 days before my 68th birthday. I have always healed quick and this was no exception, BUT! I followed Docs orders to the T, back shooting in about 12 weeks but only 50 at a time and I shoot my 1100 trap. My leg gave me trouble(where they stripped the veins out) but chest healed quick. Do what your Doc says and let your wife spoil you, mine spoiled me and I loved it.Back to golf 3 days a week(walking) and shooting one day a week.
     
  9. thomaslea1

    thomaslea1 Member

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    Thank you all for the kind responses. There's a lot of comfort knowing you're not alone in this world.

    BUT: Dr Longshot, I read your passage with great interest.
    "To build strength and get the use of my body back, Had sex in January. Started out w/lite loads 1100fps but full 1 1/8th oz shot."

    May I have the name of your Physical Therapist. I would like him or her to speak to my wife. In fact, I'll PAY for that to happen!!!! Oh yes, one more thing (as if you didn't see it coming) 7 1/2's or 8's?

    Thanks again.

    Tom Lea
     
  10. dezcon

    dezcon Member

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    I had bypass surgery September 13, 2005. I was trapshooting 6 weeks later with a StockLock K-80 and 1 ounce loads. It was too soon and I was luck nothing bad happened. The StockLock probably saved me. Listen to your doctor (I didn't) and wait at least 10 weeks depending on how you feel. And DEFINITELY go through physical therapy and push yourself under their supervision. David Zofko
     
  11. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    it is my sincerest wish you do not have to hang up your sport when the best is yet to come, if it is all you think about in your spare moments, you miss it, the comraderie and the competition.
     
  12. Primedust

    Primedust TS Member

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    Had surgery, a quad a two years ago in October. Waited 12 weeks. Shot 50 birds and won the event. Felt great! Not so great about 3 hours later. Wait all you can, then take it slow SLOW!!. I have a friend who rushed it in 6 weeks has now been 2.5 years and he has pain all the time.

    Work the chest muscles lightly at first 25 gun lifts, then 50 or so the next week. 100 in a month. ( This is after 12 weeks!) 2 years later, I still run out of gas at 300 to 400 targets in a day and the arm is limp. You have had massive muscle surgery and it takes time. Good Luck. Yes, your wife will love your new vigor! You will be amazed at the way you will feel in 12 to 14 weeks. Stay on the diet!

    Primedust
     
  13. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy TS Member

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    Dr. Longshot, that post left me wondering? You had sex in Jan. and started out with lite loads but worked up to 1 1/8. You must be a superman!
     
  14. GROUPER7

    GROUPER7 Member

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    Tom,

    I had an emergy quad in 1995 after a heart attack. I was 41 at the time. I feel lucky that this happened since it saved me from myself. Long work days, 7 days a week, smoking and not excercising. Best advice I can give you is to take it easy, don't sweat the small stuff, join a rehab program so that you can change your habits. They will not only stress excercise and believe me they will be strict but will go into medication, nutrition and all sorts of other topics. When they give a regime to follow you best follow it. When I started rehab, my regime was to walk a mile in 30 minutes, 5 days a week and this went on till I learned that when they said 30 minutes they meant, 30 minutes. I had a nurse looking after my rehab that must have been a boot camp seargent and a mule skinner. I ran afoul of her a couple of times but learned fast not to speed up or slow down. My rehab lasted 15 months and by the end I was doing a fast 12 minute mile.
    Each one of us will heal at his or her own pace. There is no set time frame. My doctor told me that 12 weeks after surgery, I could go back to a normal life, well not quite since I could not concentrate and was very irritable. It took nearly 6 months before I felt REALLY good. One morning I woke up and could not feel any aches or pains, my mind was clear and I could read for hours on end. Excercise, eat well but in moderation and by all means have a good glass of red wine with your meal, but most of all surround yourself with people that have a good attitude. My problem, as I found out much later was a bit of depression.

    Good luck, all the best and welcome to the ZIPPER CLUB.

    Alex.
     
  15. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    So far none of the posters has beat my record of 7 yes, 7 bypasses in July 2009. (The surgeon said he just got busy fixing things and lost track.) Worst part was my hemoglobin dropped, the iron pills they gave me made me deathly sick in the hospital and they had to give me a blood transfusion. So, first thing out of the hospital I just had to buy a sombrero and begin eating tacos and enchiladas all the time(bad joke - just kidding). Waited from early July to end of October before I shot my XT with 1 oz. loads and a new RAD system installed (~12 weeks). Follow the doc's orders and take it slow, real slow! Best Regards, Ed O'Dower
     
  16. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    I still fight some stages of depression, I guess. I can't do what I used to do, my chest muscles ache constantly, I miss shooting,there are times I wonder if things will ever get back to normal, it seems everything before surgery was from another lifetime, I have made the dietary changes ok, but just feel getting through the day is enough sometimes, and I have become an emotional bitch
     
  17. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Hoosier Daddy & Thomaslea, A good looking woman that was as horny as I was, and I felt better then, than I did before the Valve replacement and I thought I was turning into stone if you get the drift. I was shooting a Seitz gun then and I loaded the shells with 16.0 grs promo in a federal Gold Medal Case. And they were 7 1/2s. shot 25 tagets at a time, the physical therapy on treadmills, rowing machines, lifting weights. Sex was a daily thing back then. Getting both guns off was nicer.

    Have your wife talk to your physical therapist and they will tell your wife when you are ready.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  18. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Re depression.

    I have just returned from 5 1/2 months in the hospital. I was not depressed but someone assumed I should be and gave me some pills. The dreams the pills induced were the worst memory (and there were some beauties) of the whole session. Now I am learning to walk again.
     
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