5 months post-surgery -- thumping heart beat

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Justin Bendell

Active member
Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
31
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Hi all,

I continue to recover well and most of my life has returned to normal. I work full-time, make music, write, cook, eat whatever, walk daily, and go to the gym twice per week to lift weights (30 pounds or fewer till I hit the 6 month mark) and use the elliptical.

One thing that continues to bother me is a loud heart beat. I don't feel it all the time, but when it manifests, it can ruin a night of sleep.

I don't mean the ticking, which I expect. I refer to a thumping heart beat that is so forceful that my wife can not only hear it but literally see the thumping in my chest.

I'm not sure if there is something in particular that triggers it, like exercise or anxiety, or if it's simply part of the healing process. I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why it manifests, and on what makes it go away.

But this week, it's there. I barely slept last night. In a couple days, I may be sleeping like a baby again.

My echocardiogram and CT scan at the four month mark did not read anything problematic.

Has anybody else had an experience like this?
 
I believe I may have responded to a different post regarding something similar. After my first OHS I had a seriously loud deep thump in my chest. When I asked the surgeon he replied that it could be the heart plus pericardium bumping up against the sternum. This made sense and when I held my breath it was even more pronounced. I got used to it.

After I had my second OHS the thumping was less severe. My surgeon from second surgery (say that fast 3 times) commented that when they cut away the pericardium my heart popped out of its resting place. He thought it may have been due to tightness of the pericardium after first surgery. He did not try to suture the pericardium in a similar way so perhaps that is why I don't feel the same loud thumping.

I think the anxiety will go away as you get used to the thump. You will only be reminded when you are asked to hold your breath. I went 20 years between surgeries.
 
I am over 2 1/2 yrs post AVR and aneurism repair with a Dacron graft and still experience the thumpiness you describe, but it has gotten better with time. My cardiologist's theory is that it is likely caused by scarring to the pericardium and the stiffness of the aorta graft, which combine to result in less cushioning for the beating heart. I've got an Inspiris Resilia valve so I don't the ticking which I'm sure compounds the thumping. If you have good rhythm (no afib, etc.) and feel good, give yourself a year and things will settle down.
 
Hi Justin

One thing that continues to bother me is a loud heart beat. I don't feel it all the time, but when it manifests, it can ruin a night of sleep.

I have that as well which isn't the ticking, but is as you say a pounding. I've seen this also in many posts here (tissue and mechanical). So while its not really answering your question I find that sleeping on one side vs the other makes a big difference.

Some readings:

https://www.valvereplacement.org/threads/heart-pounding.40795/
https://www.valvereplacement.org/th...-heart-rate-following-avr-aorta-graft.888229/
https://www.valvereplacement.org/threads/heart-pounds-against-ribs.41173/
https://www.valvereplacement.org/threads/fuller-heartbeat-feeling.33535/
https://www.valvereplacement.org/threads/feels-like-the-bed-is-shaking.887740/
https://www.valvereplacement.org/threads/valve-thump-vs-valve-click.40312/
HTH
 
Aortic Valve Replacement, Aortic Aneurysm repair, and emergency Coronary Artery Bypass on June 26.
Hey Justin,

It's been 3 years since I had the same exact set of procedures. At my last cardio visit, I asked my doctor about this very same thing. I just felt that something like that would have subsided over the past 3 years, but its only changed slightly. Mine is in specific situations, when taking a deep breath, when sitting in a hard backed chair and leaning back, etc. I was explaining this message just now to my wife who didn't know about this, and I leaned back and put her hand on my chest and she was amazed, "thats pretty powerful".

The ticking has never bothered me, I just sleep with a sound machine. But the thumping had me lowkey worried something was wrong. My cardiologist said that it was likely due to the scarring of the pericardium, as well as the presence of the foreign bodies in a tight cavity. My surgeon initially said the same thing when I asked him 3 years ago.. and said it will get better over time but it will always be a bit different due to the surgery.

Sleeping hasn't been an issue, I find flat on my back gives no thump and barely any clicking. Its how I usually start my sleep.. but I can toss and turn and end up in a position where I can feel it. Just keep trying different positions and see if that helps. You may have to retrain yourself to sleep on your side or your back, and after time it will get better.

Just letting you know that you're not alone with this situation. I have it too but it will get better. Remember the alternative wasn't an option. :)
 
I'm about 9 months out and have the same thing, though it's gotten better. I'm now able to sleep on my left side without issue, which I wasn't about to do about 4 months ago due to the pounding. My cardiologist said it's not uncommon and isn't something to be concerned about.
 
Mine is like yours. Unfortunately.

After surgery it was jumping out of my chest. After several months it was WAY better. However, after I got back into my relatively intense workout routine, it came out of nowhere and floored me. Wasn’t able to workout for a couple months. It was like I stepped back in time to right after surgery.

Mine comes and goes with working out. I’ve had CT’s, X-rays, echos, etc. Nothing wrong. But something is different and uncomfortable. Take 2-3 weeks off of working out. Back to normal. Start working out again and then as intensity ramps up the massive heart beat comes back … along with a slightly higher heart rate (I wear a Fitbit).

🤷🏻‍♂️

Life is good. I can walk for miles. I can do housework. Car work. Etc.
 
I am only seven weeks out from surgery but have noticed the same thing. A thumping or very heavy heartbeat that I can feel in chest and even neck at times. I cannot sleep on my side quite yet but I hope that will relieve some of the issue. It is the most noticeable when I first get in bed. I experience it at times throughout the day as well.
 
11 weeks out from surgery to repair an aneurysm and put in a bovine valve. Thumping heartbeat is getting better but still persists at various times. Sleeping getting better but requires continual adjustment of pillows and sleeping position. Still grateful though to be on the mend 😊
 
Aortic Valve Replacement, Aortic Aneurysm repair, and emergency Coronary Artery Bypass on June 26.
Hi Justin,

Can I ask with regards to your CABG how many arteries needed bypassing?

I am due to have surgery early March 2024 and it appears to be very similar to the number of procedures you had done as I am needing a AVR + AA Repair (for a 5.1cm aneurysm) and a triple bypass, which my surgeon is proposing to do in one go.

Just wanted to find out how long it took you to recover after such extensive OHS.

Thanks
Jase
 
Hi Justin,

Can I ask with regards to your CABG how many arteries needed bypassing?

I am due to have surgery early March 2024 and it appears to be very similar to the number of procedures you had done as I am needing a AVR + AA Repair (for a 5.1cm aneurysm) and a triple bypass, which my surgeon is proposing to do in one go.

Just wanted to find out how long it took you to recover after such extensive OHS.

Thanks
Jase
I needed a bypass for the coronary artery.

I am at six months & I can do much much of everything I was capable of doing prior to surgery. Currently working on endurance & on trusting my body to be resilient under pressure/exertion.
 
Hi all,

I continue to recover well and most of my life has returned to normal. I work full-time, make music, write, cook, eat whatever, walk daily, and go to the gym twice per week to lift weights (30 pounds or fewer till I hit the 6 month mark) and use the elliptical.

One thing that continues to bother me is a loud heart beat. I don't feel it all the time, but when it manifests, it can ruin a night of sleep.

I don't mean the ticking, which I expect. I refer to a thumping heart beat that is so forceful that my wife can not only hear it but literally see the thumping in my chest.

I'm not sure if there is something in particular that triggers it, like exercise or anxiety, or if it's simply part of the healing process. I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why it manifests, and on what makes it go away.

But this week, it's there. I barely slept last night. In a couple days, I may be sleeping like a baby again.

My echocardiogram and CT scan at the four month mark did not read anything problematic.

Has anybody else had an experience like this?
Sorry to hear..Any updates ? What type of valve..Try meditation sleeping pills, Xanax, Ativan, melatonin
 
11 weeks out from surgery to repair an aneurysm and put in a bovine valve. Thumping heartbeat is getting better but still persists at various times. Sleeping getting better but requires continual adjustment of pillows and sleeping position. Still grateful though to be on the mend 😊
Wow thumping with bovine ? I thought that was more likely with mechanical valve (?) .
 
I'm about 9 months out and have the same thing, though it's gotten better. I'm now able to sleep on my left side without issue, which I wasn't about to do about 4 months ago due to the pounding. My cardiologist said it's not uncommon and isn't something to be concerned about.
Does it get better ? How do you adapt to it ?
 
Hi all,

I continue to recover well and most of my life has returned to normal. I work full-time, make music, write, cook, eat whatever, walk daily, and go to the gym twice per week to lift weights (30 pounds or fewer till I hit the 6 month mark) and use the elliptical.

One thing that continues to bother me is a loud heart beat. I don't feel it all the time, but when it manifests, it can ruin a night of sleep.

I don't mean the ticking, which I expect. I refer to a thumping heart beat that is so forceful that my wife can not only hear it but literally see the thumping in my chest.

I'm not sure if there is something in particular that triggers it, like exercise or anxiety, or if it's simply part of the healing process. I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why it manifests, and on what makes it go away.

But this week, it's there. I barely slept last night. In a couple days, I may be sleeping like a baby again.

My echocardiogram and CT scan at the four month mark did not read anything problematic.

Has anybody else had an experience like this?
Hi all,

I continue to recover well and most of my life has returned to normal. I work full-time, make music, write, cook, eat whatever, walk daily, and go to the gym twice per week to lift weights (30 pounds or fewer till I hit the 6 month mark) and use the elliptical.

One thing that continues to bother me is a loud heart beat. I don't feel it all the time, but when it manifests, it can ruin a night of sleep.

I don't mean the ticking, which I expect. I refer to a thumping heart beat that is so forceful that my wife can not only hear it but literally see the thumping in my chest.

I'm not sure if there is something in particular that triggers it, like exercise or anxiety, or if it's simply part of the healing process. I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why it manifests, and on what makes it go away.

But this week, it's there. I barely slept last night. In a couple days, I may be sleeping like a baby again.

My echocardiogram and CT scan at the four month mark did not read anything problematic.

Has anybody else had an experience like this?
I had a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic aneurysm and had surgery for them in October of 2016. I have a mechanical heart valve and could not feel it until 2-3 days after the surgery I was pulling earbuds out of my ears and and immediately began can to feel my heartbeat. It drove me crazy for a few months, have become accustomed to it so most of the time I don't even notice it unless I'm thinking about it. It has gotten a little better but not much, for awhile I could feel my heartbeat off my collar bone. :)

In October of 2017 I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and had sevral tests done to see if they could find the cause of it. They didn't find anything and said "everything looked good". Basically they said "learn to live with it" which I have. :)

In 2018-19 I had a few eye surgeries and while in quiet rooms at different times I had an ophthalmologist, anesthesiologist and nurse ask me if I had a watch in my pocket :)
 

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