How get used to permanent metal click after aortic valve replacement

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ARV

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Non stop metal click affects daily life a bit. I have just 5 weeks after surgery but wonder how long time nedds to get used with this sound? Any experience?
 

Lynn

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I’m closing in on 5 months and honestly I very rarely even hear mine. It has to be super quiet and I have to be very focused on it. Otherwise I don’t even think about it. The click of my On-x is definitely quieter than the previous wosh wosh of my stenotic aortic valve prior to surgery. For a couple of years it sounded like a washing machine.
 

ARV

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Thanks for reply. But my valve sounds really good. I keep trying to focus an attention to other things but it’s still difficult. Maybe someone has ideas how to get used with current valve as well as I don’t want to make an appointment with psychologist.
 

Lynn

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I don’t want to discount how you are feeling and what you are hearing. I did hear my valve more in the beginning. I just want you to know that it does get better. What has helped I think, is working to get physically and mentally healthier. Exercise, meditation and breathing exercises have all helped as has this forum. I am also a big reader, so a re-reading of books in my collection dealing with anxiety helped. All of these things have contributed to my heart healing and my resting heart rate coming down. All of these activities reduce anxiety which makes everything better. My valve is still clicking away but I have moved back into a busy and full life which means I just don’t have the time or inclination to listen for my valve. Find what works for you. If that means seeing a psychologist, why not? Best of luck.
 

ARV

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Thank you! I will try some.
 

pellicle

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I believe its a combination of:
  • as swelling post surgery reduces less conduction occurs
  • as you get used to it you'll begin to find you only notice it when you pay attention to it
however I can't vouch for your spouse not noticing you're getting frisky (by the elevated HR)

PS: I see you have the dacron riser (bental), as far as I can tell that aids accoustic conductivity ... I myself hear a thud not a click ...
 

Protimenow

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Don't buy a cheap, LOUD mechanical watch.

I bought an old Mickey Mouse watch, and my wife thought I was having a heart attack. Apparently, she listens to my valve clicking to confirm that I'm okay. If she hears tachycardia (or a fast, loud, ticking watch), she gets worried.
 
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ARV

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Don't buy a cheap, LOUD mechanical watch.

I bought an old Mickey Mouse watch, and my wife thought I was having a heart attack. Apparently, she listens to my valve clicking to confirm that I'm okay. If she hears tachycardia (or a fast, loud, ticking watch), she gets worried.
Once I had tachycardia after surgery sounds like death metal band drummer playing on cymbals. Unforgettable)
 

Warrick

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All I can advise is give it time.
Alot of the time I don’t notice it now after 5 1/2 years. My valve sounds to me a bit like coins tapping together. Sitting here now if I focus on thinking about it I could cry, so I don’t.
Its bearable, and its only the evenings and laying in bed thats the worst, after all I’d be pushing up daisies by now without it.
My father had a St Jude bileaftlet mechanical for 36 yrs when he passed earlier this year from cancer, so it will last your lifetime. Some people dont seem to hear their valves and some do.
It will get better 😊
 

Justmadi

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After 8 years I do still hear my valve..sometimes it just POUNDS. I can always hear it in my ears….
I sleep with a pillow I can bunch so that my ear is not pressed against anything.
it HAS gotten better over the years so just give it some time. And when it’s bad I remind myself that ticking is a good thing!
 

Superman

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Lots of mechanical valve experience on these boards. I’ve been ticking for nearly 31 years. I can always hear it if I want to. But during daily activities I’m less likely to notice anymore. My wife and kids can hear it too. Some rooms, some positions seem to amplify it. I really don’t pay it much mind, but it’s there. As to when it starts to become less obvious, I imaging that’s a very individual thing. I certainly couldn’t put a post op time table on it.
 
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dick0236

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After your body heals from the surgery and you become used to the sound if any, you will no longer notice the "clicking".
 
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JLmatus

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As mentioned by others, after awhile you get used to the ticking, I have an On-X valve and rarely notice the sound anymore. Look at it this way, when you hear the sound it means you are still alive. It sure beats the alternative.
 
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Chuck C

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It has never sounded much like a click to me, more just a thumping.

I'm 5 months out. As the months pass I hear it less and less. I have a dacron tube, which replaced my ascending aorta, which some say may cause it to be louder. But I don't believe this has been the case for me. Right now it is quiet and, even when I listen closely for it, I can't hear it, so I don't think that I am just tuning it out. However, if I take a deep breath, I can then hear the thumping sound again.
 

vitdoc

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38 years with two St. Jude aortic valves. Pre and post aneurysm surgery.
When I think about it I hear it. Great for monitoring your pulse rate. Years ago I was helping someone in surgery. He asked me about my new watch.
I said it was great.
 

BillDaThrill

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My On-X (2 months post-surgery) sounds like a perpetual motion set-ups.
balls.jpg

I hear the noise only when it is really, really quiet but it doesn't bother me at all - just a great reminder that the biggest challenge (surgery) is behind me and to keep on working thru recovery.
 

caro

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My pulse is much more regular after surgery so I’ve become more aware of it. I would be more aware of it now no matter what valve I chose. Before surgery, it seemed like my heart would beat once every 20 seconds. Love having a steady pulse now. It’s now like the pulse of my friends and my mom who don’t have any heart issues. Sometimes I hear my valve at night. If it bothers me, I put a light blanket or small pillow I like to hug over chest. Helps a lot. I highly recommend listening to meditation apps or books on audible before bed if you can. I did that before surgery as well to read, relax and get out of my head. Super helpful for me.
 

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