Want to take my dad to the range after bypass surgery


March 22, 2010, 12:30 PM
Hey All,

My dad is ~63 years old. He underwent double bypass surgery on Feb. 1, 2010. He was in the hospital for 27 days (some kidney complications but recovered) and got out on the 27th of Feb. He has been recovering well but recently stated that he wants to start going out with me again to the range. In another week he'll have had 2 months recovery time. I told him to consult with this cardiothoracic doctor before I will take him.

I think I want to keep him off of any shoulder fired type rifles and just keep it to handguns for a while. Although his favorite S&W 645 pistol may be too much. I really don't know. What do you guys think? Anyone here around that age that has undergone bypass surgery? How long before you started going out again?

Thanks guys. I'd love to get him back into fishing and shooting but don't really want him to injure or hurt himself.

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March 22, 2010, 12:50 PM
Glad everything is ok, it takes time to recover from the most invassive surgery a person can go through. I have been there and done that. The concussion will put a lot of stress on the incisions and the breast bone. Do it only with the doctors blessing.

March 22, 2010, 12:54 PM
itīs an excuse for you to buy a new .22,
... for him to shoot. At least for now.

all thebest.

March 22, 2010, 01:00 PM
If he has a frank conversation with his physician then it's up to the physician to decide what is approved.

My dad had a quad bypass and survived decades. The consensus was that he felt better than he had in a decade after the surgery and was out mowing the yard in a month.

March 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
Not long ago, I had surgery further south than that (hernia). The first time I fired a firearm after was about 3 months later and it was a shotgun. I was feeling fine for the most part (mostly nerve regeneration pain at that point), but when I shot that shotgun, it shook me, almost knocked me down, and made be feel very nauseous.

Obviously a very different type of surgery and everybody is different, but I would advise that he take it slowly. It was about a year until I was completely comfortable while shooting after my surgery. Follow what the doctor says and don't push it too hard.

March 22, 2010, 01:08 PM
Sounds as though a matching pair (something nice) of 22's are in order. Maybe a pair of CZ's or Marlin 39's?

March 22, 2010, 01:33 PM
I had a quadruple bypass at the age of 46. I have diabetes and genetically screwed but in very good shape before surgery. Walked or ran 12-20 miles per week before surgery. I was back shooting handguns- 9mm - within 3-4 wks. Had it done 2 days after Thanksgiving and I was ready for Spring Turkey Season in April and withstanding an 870 blast with little or no discomfort.

I was walking 3 miles per day within 5 days of being released from the hospital. They even had me walking the day I got out of IC. I am not sure how good of shape your father is in before the surgery but that will determine how quickly he heals. It wasn't easy but I wanted to recover quickly so I could get back to doing the things I enjoyed in life. Not driving for a month to allow my breast bone to heal was a real pain but I did refrain from driving.

March 22, 2010, 02:31 PM
Daddy has his in 2005 before Katrina hit. Storm came and and the power went out and when he tried to pull start his generator he seperated his chest plate, never even had it fixed!! He has since killed a turkey and several snakes with a 20 gague Remington model 11 I gave him. Be sure he does what the doctor tells him to do!!!


March 22, 2010, 05:02 PM
Tell your dad not to think about shooting until his doctor gives the green light!

March 22, 2010, 05:19 PM
My Grandfather, may he rest in peace, had his first heart attack when he was in his late thirties, his 13th and fatal one at 79. He was your basic TOB (tough old bird) and after his last bypass (age 70) cultivated corn and was teaching me the finer points of Lee Enfield rifle within a week of coming home. Much to my father's dismay and worry.

Not knowing your father's case or medical history I can not and will not advise you on this subject. I will share with you what my incredibly wise Grandmother told my Dad. The stress of sitting in the easy chair brooding that he cannot do as he wants to do will kill him faster than the tractor seat.

Although I cannot add much to that I will attempt to- when he was raising you, I'm sure there were many times he bit his tongue and let you do what you wanted even though he thought it wasn't in your best interest. Can you as an adult, not owe him the same consideration?

March 22, 2010, 07:33 PM
Obviously, I would ask the surgeon for his opinion first. Aside from that, I would probably give it a few months before I take him shooting. The direct force transmitted from the weapon to the body worries me less than the sudden change in air pressure he will experience. I would start small.

March 22, 2010, 09:44 PM
As others, I think you should be asking his doctor.

March 22, 2010, 10:04 PM
Based on personal experience, I believe a 22 semiauto handgun would be in order for a couple of months, even if the doc gives OK for heavier.

'Don't push the envelope'.

March 22, 2010, 10:13 PM
After surgery or injury, wound (tissue) strength & integrity is generally accepted to be 80% at one year. Older people heal more slowly than younger people. I'd start with a .22lr and advance slowly as tolerated.

Ky Larry
March 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
My shooting buddy(56 y.o.) had a triple bypass Feb.10 this year. He has been shooting .22 rifles and pistols for the past 3 weeks. Last weekend he shot 50rnds of .223's with a CZ-453 with no problems. His doctor said he should be as close to 100% as possible by July 4.

March 22, 2010, 11:40 PM
I had a valve replaced last January. I'm a bit younger at 55 but I was not in good shape before the surgery. Anyway, I was feeling great after 8 weeks. I think a .22 is a good idea for the first go round but if your Dad is up for more, he'll say so.
Surprisingly the heart surgery was not all that painful and recovery was fairly quick, one week in hospital and one week at home I was weak but I built strength quickly.

Patrick R
March 23, 2010, 12:02 AM
I had bypass surgary 6-1-09 at 52 years old.

At 3 weeks I was shooting my Ruger 10-22 & MK 2.

My doctor gave my permission to drive & resume normal life at 5 weeks. Still was not to lift more than 20 LB.

At 4 months I was shooting my AR 15 at small amounts.

My doctor cleared me for shooting reasonable guns at 6 months.

Now at 9 months I'm still not back but working at it.

Your father will get tired easy. Some days better than others.

The worst part was I had to sleep in a chair for the first 5 weeks.

March 23, 2010, 09:56 AM
The worst part was I had to sleep in a chair for the first 5 weeks.

I did that for the first two weeks but not every night. Rolling over in bed took a supreme effort of will and muscle. The worst thing was if I was going to sneeze or cough. I kept my "heart" pillow close at hand. I was back to work at 7 weeks from surgery. I still have numbness on one side of my chest where the nerves have not connected. I have been back running regularly but my best mile time is now 8-1/2 minutes. Not great and working to lower my times.

March 23, 2010, 02:40 PM
Every one is a little different so the doctor clearance is not a bad idea.

From my experience the 2 months is still a little early for much activity - the danger being breaking the chest loose. As hard as it is , I would wait for 3 months before shooting anything shoulder held, and if a must go shooting , then I would stick with a .22 hangun for a bit.

It is surprising just how easy it is to screw up the chest after this surgery, and believe me, it is not worth it.

k&j 223
March 24, 2010, 02:55 AM
bootcamp, I had a quad sept 06. they didn't think I was going to make it . When I ask my heart dr.about going shooting ,he said take it easy so you don't open the chest stitches up. I waited apx 6 mos. Then I started with a 22 auto, sitting down in a chair,resting my hands on the shooting bench. I like your dad love the 45 acp , bullseye shooting. I Started shooting again with the 45 acp the same way as the 22 auto at apx 8 mos using light loads. I shoot iron sights on my 45acp. This worked out really good for me. Be sure & take dad along when you go shooting, he will enjoy being with you & watching you shoot as well as getting out of the house.good advice from the guys on the high road. Your a good son to want to take dad out shooting with you. Walking will help him to heal better .After 1 yr I wanted to shoot a 12 ga , so I bought a slip on for the butt. apx 40.00 at bass pro, couldn't hardly feel anything on recoil. used light loads 2 3/4 enjoyed the 12 that way.I'm 69 yrs old very weak yet, slow to come back.I was on the brink, but fooled them. I'm back enjoying my shooting again, a little at a time. As I'm sure your dad will as well. Good shooting & good luck. My best to your dad. K&j 223

March 24, 2010, 07:28 AM
That's between him and his doctor. He'll know how he feels and his doctor will know how he's healing.

But it is good therapy for people do what they enjoy. Here's a picture of my wife about six months after suffering a near fatal ruptured aneurysm in her brain. You have never seen such a grin as she had that day. "I can still do this!"


(People have asked about the pocketbook slung over her arm. She was getting ready to go sit on the bench behind the line when I asked her to take a couple of shots for the camera. She just didn't bother to put it down.)

If your Dad and his doctor say he's up to it. Go for it. :D

Mr. Bojangles
March 24, 2010, 07:38 AM
Just make sure he follows his postop precautions, especially with lifting his arms above his head as well as weight and movement restrictios. He will likely know all these as they usually cover them thoroughly before discharge from the hospital. Also, consulting with the CT surgeon would be a good idea prior to shooting. Aside from that, he should be fine to shoot, especially with smaller caliber and lighter recoil firearms.

+1 to an excuse to buy a new .22.

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