Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!

Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin

Hey Folks,

            Hope you are all well! Its been about two and a half years since my mechanical valve was implanted. I was 29 at the time (bicuspid valve with aortic regurgitation). I recovered very quickly and I'm in relatively good shape, although I could stand to lose a few pounds (:

            Over the last few years, I have experienced a couple of instances of aches and pains around where I imagine my valve would be. The pain is light and dull but noticeable. Its like an intermittent soreness that doesn't seem to be associated with my heart beat. I will get a twinge of pain now and then when I stretch in a certain direction. I can't tell if its my heart or my sternum but it seems slightly off center left..  I don't remember doing any activity that would be out of the ordinary before these episodes. Although, now that I think of it, I did sleep on my chest last night, which I rarely do.. I told my doc about it but he didn't seem concerned.

            Anyways, Have you ever experienced strange aches and pains a year or more after surgery? I'd be interested to hear about your experience. 

Keep Clickin',

Bobby

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Hi Bobby

I too have the occasional dull, or occasional sharp pain, on the left side of my chest. Obviously having had heart surgery - my valve replacement was part of a 3 procedure Aortic arch, root & associated MHV replacement- you can tend to worry.

I am 5 years post surgery, very active - bike, swim, run, cardio gym etc - so do have a concern that I am pushing things a bit hard at times, but have had numerous checks (I do have to take 75mg of Aspirin due to some TIA's post op) including MRI's & Echo's and have just been signed off for 3 years.

At my last check up the cardiologist felt the pains were unlikely to be anything, and had the Echo done which came back clean, but again said to watch the high intensity type of activity i.e rapid heart rate changes.

But my bottom line is anything that feels odd to you (Not sure how you had your valve changed, but mine was the old sternum split) is worth talking to your doctor about.... again if it continues.

I'm pretty sure mine are the result of the surgery, the valve function - any mechanical valve has more inertial force than a tissue one - a common (in men over 40) shoulder function issue, and lets face it, an understandable fixation with anything happening in that area of your chest.

I hope that helps... but honestly, if it keeps happening chat to your cardiologist. Every surgery & recovery is unique.

All the best

Simon

Hi, I had my AVR and MVR done just over six months ago, I like yourself made a good quick recovery, but did have an episode of pericardial effusion to deal with, once that was sorted it has been pretty good since. 

The dull pain, yes, i get that also, not always there, and not any particular thing brings it on, i was in the bed this morning and it came on, lasted a while, was a little annoying though. I keep thinking maybe it will develop into something later.. i have GP appointment next week, and then the consultants week after that.. so will update them and see what they think it could be. 

Regards

Nasar

Bobby,

I am 2 ½ years into having my aortic valve replaced. I have experienced several times dull aches on and around my sternum, however not in the area were my valve is. Normally, well each and every time these aches arrive after doing a bit to much, such things as digging the vegetable patch, cycling too far, lifting more than say 20 kg, even motor scooter bike rides for more than 2 hours. So I have tried to reduce my activities a little and things have been better of late. I hope that your aches are, like mine, due to excess effort. All the best. Kevin

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