Unusually LOUD heartbeat

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Jtucker33

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
7
Shortly after my surgery in 2018 (valve, root and ascending aorta replacement and repair to an aneurysm) my heartbeat seemed unsettling loud. I asked for a chest X-ray which revealed nothing unusual. It is so loud I told the doctor I didn’t think they replaced the heart where it should be. No joke.

It isn’t the “click-click-click” of the St. Judes valve, but a VERY loud thump-thump-thump. Heart rate is fine. Nothing unusual there, no a-fib. My cardiologist acknowledged it’s unusually loud but is not concerned.

I’m a TV reporter and every day I need to adjust my recorded audio to lower the sound of the beat. Even when the microphone is several feet from my body. My wife and daughter hear it even in a crowded restaurant. My mom says she’s seen the beat move my shirt! I’m happy to have a healthy beat, but with the thump and tick all I need is a keyboard to make some really nice music.

Has anyone else noticed something similar post-op?
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,580
Like you, I have a St. Jude mechanical valve and also had my root and ascending aorta replaced with a dacron sleeve. When I do hear mine, it has never sounded like click-click-click, but more of a thump. This part seems similar to what you are decribing. But, Mine is relatively quiet. Much more quiet than I expected. I only hear the thump-thump-thump when I purposely take a deep breath. I also can hear some light thumping when I lay down. But, right now for example- it is totally quiet in the room and I can't hear mine at all no matter how hard I try, until I take a deep breath.

It is remarkable how much this varies person to person.
 

GSP

New member
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
2
Same parts list here but with an on-x. I had a very noticeable thump to my heartbeat when I would take a deep breath for the first 6 months post op. It felt to me like the Dacron aorta was bumping up against the inside of my sternum. It mostly stopped doing the thumping but I think I will always hear this tick. I can hear it plainly all the time unless I’m in a really loud environment.
 

AZATADINE

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
92
I had a tissue valve implanted 5 months ago. I had a significant thump thump thump for weeks afterwards when I'd put my head on a pillow or anything. Tell you the truth, I actually felt that the whole bed was moving with each thump. Had to sleep on my back so that I wouldn't hear it.

It's not as bad now (or maybe I'm just used to it now). I can still hear it though.
 

d333gs

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
198
Location
France
I had loud thumping early on accompanied by a wide range of BPM. It was louder when it was pumping at a lower BPM; When I was at the computer,it would drop to 32 and it was really loud there. Now, at week 8 it has settled down and my average resting heart rate, when I am awake is 63. When I am asleep it can still drop to 38 which, in fact, it did per surgery too. Apparently, this is not uncommon.

I also read that the sac surrounding the heart "... A fibrous sac called the pericardium surrounds the heart. This sac has two thin layers with fluid between them. This fluid reduces friction as the two layers rub against each other when the heart beats...." Apparently it also insulates and absorbs what we sense as pounding. Often, after surgery, this sac is left open for fear of fluid accumulation problems. You could ask your surgeon what he did..
 

TomM

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
13
I have a loud thumping from my repaired heart (mechanical aortic valve, Dacron to repair ascending aorta and a pacemaker) I had an echo done 4 months after surgery after I said it to my cardio who then noticed on the echo what he called a fistula between two chambers of my heart. He thinks that's what is the cause of the thumping. No further procedure was needed he said be careful about getting an infection particularly if getting dental work done. I've gotten used to the thumping but it is noticable.
 

Brinntache

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Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
70
Location
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I also read that the sac surrounding the heart "... A fibrous sac called the pericardium surrounds the heart. This sac has two thin layers with fluid between them. This fluid reduces friction as the two layers rub against each other when the heart beats...." Apparently it also insulates and absorbs what we sense as pounding. Often, after surgery, this sac is left open for fear of fluid accumulation problems. You could ask your surgeon what he did..
I had my pericardium drained a couple of weeks after my AVR. the ticking varies in volume. It did take a while to calm down, but it still isn't silent. I would hope that my pericardium has healed and regained the normal 50ml of fluid. In most situations people can't hear it.
 

cooperman

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
17
After my Ross procedure I experienced something similar. Loud thumping. At one point I thought something was wrong with my hospital bed because it was creaking rythymically, but then I realized my arms and legs were bobbing ever so slightly to my pulse and shaking the bed. It got better with time.
 

Estrazz

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
20
I had a Bentall procedure Nov 18, 2021 with an OnX valve. My valve is extremely loud. I hear it pretty much at all times. My coworkers all noticed it right away after I returned to work. Many people have told me that I will "get used to it" and the noise will disappear. So far the noise has not changed at all. It just does not drive me crazy anymore. Our NP at work was even shocked when she did my return to work check and said it is the loudest mechanical valve she has heard.
 

JedC

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
6
It's pressure,
Like a drip drip drip that will never stop
Whoooah
Pressure that'll tip tip tip till you just go pop
Whooah oh oh
Give it to your sister, your sister's older
Give her all the heavy things we can't shoulder
Who am I if I can't run with the ball?
If I fall to
The pressure like a drip drip drip and I won't let go?
Whoooah
Pressure like tick tick tick till it's ready to blow?
Whoooah oh oh
 

Jtucker33

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
7
You can actually see my heart beating when I wear a tight shirt. I just haven't seen or heard anything like it. My TV viewers no doubt have wondered if there's something wrong with their set.
I had my pericardium drained a couple of weeks after my AVR. the ticking varies in volume. It did take a while to calm down, but it still isn't silent. I would hope that my pericardium has healed and regained the normal 50ml of fluid. In most situations people can't hear it.
that's the first theory I've heard. I'll bring that to the attention of my cardiologist. interesting.
 

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