Mechanical Ticking - When is it louder and (side) sleeping

Valve Replacement Forums

Help Support Valve Replacement Forums:

csigabiga

Active member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
31
Location
Toronto & Tel Aviv
Hi everybody.

I'm 39/m with BAV from birth. Recently I crossed into severe AI. It's time for surgery, and I've been debating between Ross and Mechanical (Bentall). Due to having AI and a pretty dilated annulus, I am leaning towards mechanical.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of any research of has any anecdotal evidence that can shed light on what makes certain valves in certain people tick louder than others.

Does it have to do with the valve? A person's weight? Whether or not they get a Bentall? I really like my quiet time, sleep on my side, and I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a concern for me. I am 168cm tall (5'6 for you Americans) but have a pretty broad chest. I guess I'm holding out hope that somehow my chest will muffle the sound a bit and it won't be too loud.

Side sleepers, are you able to sleep on your sides? Do you use white noise? Rain sounds? Weighted blankets?
Any insight or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
11,024
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Side sleeper.
Near in mind mine is a "real diesel" to quote one doctor, and it's my third it's and it's a bental too.

I sleep on left side, but a while back I was forced to sleep right.

No significant difference.

I often go to sleep just listening to the rhythm and the opening closing sounds. It only brothers me when it sounds wrong.

People talk about this as if it's a sound from outside, but it's me, my heart.

Like all things the mind habituates the sound away. Unless of course you deliberately want to be upset by it. Then you can probably do that.

Living life involves changes, from infancy to old age. The secret to not having a bad time is to accept that changes happen.

To me unless your neurotic, this shouldn't be the basis of your valve choice.

YMMV

Best Wishes
 

preciosa1974

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
99
I just had surgery, I’m 48 with a st. Jude. I hear it sometimes. Granted I’m still sleeping upright, but it really isn’t it all what I thought it would be from what
People had said. It’s really not bothersome, just there. It’s more comforting than bothersome. Before surgery I had a heck of a water pump pulse which was way more annoying!
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,751
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I’ve been happily ticking away for over 32 of my 50 years. Sometimes I notice it. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’ll notice it stronger in one position and turn and it quiets down. But it doesn’t bother me enough apparently. Even after 32 years I still couldn’t tell you what the “quiet position” is. I’m in my office right now and I hear it. Being one who isn’t bothered by much makes me a poor advisor for those who might be.

I can tell you what would bother me. Another open heart surgery. So hurray for ticking!
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,399
Location
louisville, KY USA
I'm sure I went thru all of these feelings about noise, sleeping difficulties, scar embarrassment, etc.......but all of these feelings disappeared after several months......except for the scar embarrassment.....I think they used a "chainsaw" to open my chest and I have a scar that has always made me a little self-conscious about going without a shirt. That is a small price to pay to stay off an operating table.
 

ChuckM

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
15
Location
Lafayette, La
I'm sure I went thru all of these feelings about noise, sleeping difficulties, scar embarrassment, etc.......but all of these feelings disappeared after several months......except for the scar embarrassment.....I think they used a "chainsaw" to open my chest and I have a scar that has always made me a little self-conscious about going without a shirt. That is a small price to pay to stay off an operating table.

The scar still gets to me as well, I'm working through getting past it. Like my wife says, it is what it is, I'd likely be dead without it. I also agree with @pellicle, I take serious comfort in hearing it now. About 2 weeks post surgery I started palpitations where it literally paused for a few seconds, then immediately sped up. After about 3 or so hours of that, I headed to the ER where they listened and did an EKG and sent me home. Since then, no serious palpitations, but I know what I"m listening for and I expect to hear it! :)

I generally only hear 1/2 of it, so mine is a "tick" instead of a "tick-tock". On my back, arms by my side, I can make it almost go completely away, but any other position its audible. I sleep with a sound machine or use an iphone app if i forget it. Its very comforting reading all of the posts here that reassure me that I've made the correct decision.. I'm 51 and NEVER want to go under the knife again.
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,884
I had the same procedure that you are facing, Bentall with a mechanical aortic valve, about 2 years ago. Mine is a St Jude. I've been fortunate, in that I rarely hear mine. I hear it when I breath deeply and when I exercise hard.
I am a relatively light sleeper. I am so unaware of it when I go to bed, that I had to do a little test right now to see if I hear it when I lay down. I do have some white noise, via an air filter, always running in the background in my room, but it is not very loud. When I lay on my left side, I can hear it, just faintly. When I lay on my right side, I don't hear it. It has never bothered me when I sleep.
The only time other people can hear it is when they put their head on my chest. My wife has heard it and says that she finds it comforting. A few jiu jitsu partners have heard it, when grappling with me. My cat seems to like it and climbs up on me and lays right on my chest. Perhaps it sounds like purring to him, lol.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
11,024
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
About 2 weeks post surgery I started palpitations where it literally paused for a few seconds, then immediately sped up. After about 3 or so hours of that, I headed to the ER where they listened and did an EKG and sent me home.
and personally I also count my mech valve as a bonus for having a bio-feedback system for no additional cost.

I also recently had some arrhythmia issues (I suspect covid) and because I have a mech valve I was immediately aware of this and could monitor it (took notes) and when it increased to a point I went to hospital, got measured, got prescribed beta blockers and its now well under control.

So I wasn't one of the people who died from undiagnosed arrhythmias
 

csigabiga

Active member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
31
Location
Toronto & Tel Aviv
I had the same procedure that you are facing, Bentall with a mechanical aortic valve, about 2 years ago. Mine is a St Jude. I've been fortunate, in that I rarely hear mine. I hear it when I breath deeply and when I exercise hard.
I am a relatively light sleeper. I am so unaware of it when I go to bed, that I had to do a little test right now to see if I hear it when I lay down. I do have some white noise, via an air filter, always running in the background in my room, but it is not very loud. When I lay on my left side, I can hear it, just faintly. When I lay on my right side, I don't hear it. It has never bothered me when I sleep.
The only time other people can hear it is when they put their head on my chest. My wife has heard it and says that she finds it comforting. A few jiu jitsu partners have heard it, when grappling with me. My cat seems to like it and climbs up on me and lays right on my chest. Perhaps it sounds like purring to him, lol.
If this turns out to be my 'sound outcome' I'd be thrilled.
because I have a mech valve I was immediately aware of this and could monitor it (took notes) and when it increased to a point I went to hospital, got measured, got prescribed beta blockers and its now well under control.
This would be an added bonus I guess
 

mecretired

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
284
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
I have had a st Jude mechanical aortic valve for almost 13 years (Bentall procedure). I almost never notice the sound unless I am laying on my right side. Don’t notice it at all if I’m on my left side. The sound has never been an issue for me.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
64
I have an on X valve and can hear it on occasion while in bed. I can also feel it opening and closing when my blood pressure is up. I hear it mostly when I curl up on my left side. It is not loud enough to bother me. I kind of enjoy it sometimes and it puts me to sleep. It does getting a little louder during sex and my wife can hear it as well. She finds it fascinating. 😳😉
 

tom in MO

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,994
Location
MO USA
The sound never bothered me, St. Jude aortic position for 10+ years. It was loudest post-surgery, but I rarely hear it now. Never in bed. Never bothered my sleep, though as a teenager I removed my childhood clock from my room for ticking too loudly. Don't worry about it. You'll get used to it.
 
Top