Tapping on sternum

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Paul1972

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Has anyone experienced a tapping/thudding sensation when they inhale which goes back to a normal clicking sound when you exhale. I’m getting used to the clicking of my valve but the feeling I get when I breath in is really knocking my confidence as it just doesn’t feel right . If I hold my breath it’s quite soon as I start breathing normally it’s very loud and it feels like something is tapping me from inside my chest
 

pellicle

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What you describe sounds like what I experience. To me its just the increase in acoustic conduction created by the inflation of the lungs and pressing things tighter to the sternum as those bags inflate and the ribs tighten up
 

Paul1972

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Cheers for the reply pellicle ,it’s good to hear from someone who has been through and experiencing the same things your explanation makes a lot of sense :)
 

pellicle

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Hi
Paul1972;n881408 said:
Cheers for the reply pellicle ,it’s good to hear from someone who has been through and experiencing the same things your explanation makes a lot of sense :)
I'm glad ... I wasn't sure if your description was implying the tapping was directly related to heart beats of if there was some other "sternal clunking" (as like Dodger Fan mentioned) at work.

I did find though that deep breaths and hold resulted in a significant slowing of my HR. I used this as a "method" to train my heart back to "normal" speeds in the days after surgery when my HR was regularly around 80~100bpm

My method was to hold for long enough to notice a a drop and leave it for a few more beats, but not long enough to then require me to breath fast in "hold your breath recovery"

Wait a bit then repeat the cycle ...
 

Paul1972

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Hi pellicle I’m proberbly not the best at explaining with a text what I’m mean is the deeper I breathe in the stronger the thud/tapping feeling I get inside my chest when I take shallow breaths I don’t feel it ..Thanks again for taking time out to reply it’s good to hear from others that have been through the challenges of heart surgery.
 

Paul1972

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Hi dodger fan thanks for taking time out to reply it’s good to hear about other people’s experiences after heart surgery
 

Ryan CA

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Paul, I used to get that quite a bit following my surgery. Upon deep breathes, it was almost as if the my heart was shifting up a few inches into my upper chest and beating against the back of my upper sternum.

It subsided after a few months, and is completely gone now, 3.5 years later.
 

Paul1972

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Hi Ryan, thanks for replying it’s comforting to no that others have had the same sort of symptoms, it was making feel a bit anxious as I didn’t have the tapping/thudding after my first repair operation ,I guess the feeling is coming from the valve and the Dacron graft that I now have . 5 months post op now so Hopfully it will subside just like yours has over time ..
 

leadville

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Hi Paul, absolutely yes, on deep breaths it thuds really loud in my chest & throat, i too have the graft , mine hasn't subsided since the surgery but i
think it's exactly as pellicle says.
mine is quiet on normal breathing
 

Paul1972

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Hi Leadville thank you for your feedback it’s reassuring to hear that my experiences are similar to yours i guess it’s something I will hopefully get use to .
 

DDT77

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Perhaps something similar... During depth of inhalation, sensation that adam's apple is getting tapped / flicked...
 

Paul1972

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I get that feeling also in my throat ddt77, I never had it after my first surgery with aortic root replacement and valve repair so it must be something to do with having a merchanical valve and it works .Thanks for the response I hope your recovery is going well :)
 

Paul1972

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I get that feeling also in my throat ddt77, I never had it after my first surgery with aortic root replacement and valve repair so it must be something to do with having a merchanical valve and how it works .Thanks for the response I hope your recovery is going well :)
 

cuoricino

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Glad I stumbled upon this. I feel the same sensation (popping or thumping - in line with my heart beat) at the very end of deep breaths. Hadn't given it much thought, but just heard from my surgeon. In the age of COVID most post op appointments are being postponed. But after telling him this symptom he urged me to come in for my appointment Monday. Got me worried.

Reviving this thread for any additional input. What's worst case scenario here... that my sternum didn't heal properly and they need operate to correct it? It feels exactly like a previous poster described: like when my lungs are filled to capacity my heart thumps right up against my sternum... then all goes back to the subtle "tick" once I start to exhale.

Thanks for any input...
 

AZ Don

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There are a few threads discussing this. For some it resolves in less than a year post surgery, for others it does not. In the former case I think it is attributed to the scar tissue not yet having closed the pericardial sac. In the latter, case, which I have had for almost 6 years now post surgery, it seems to be associated to an aneurysm repair (not the valve as my repair was valve sparing). None of the Surgeons or Cardiologists that I mentioned this to were familiar with this. The best explanation I was given was simply that the surgery altered my anatomy somewhat and so the sound is transmitted differently (though it is more than the sound that is transmitted as I feel the thump more than hear it).

I imagine that my aortic graft is simply closer to the sternum than my aorta was and presses up against it. When I take a deep breath, arch my back, or lean my head back (look up), it feels like someone is flicking my sternum in time with my heart beat. It was quite annoying, and actually somewhat painful the first couple months after surgery but with time I got used to it. There were a couple people for whom it was so strong that it was quite disturbing, but for most I think it is just annoying.
 

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