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

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

I had my surgery 6 weeks ago, and I am interested if there is any relief from the pounding feeling. I can live with the ticking, but feeling my heart beat gives me an uneasy feeling. Also, before surgery I was a very active gym goer and tennis player. I know tennis has to wait,but did anyone return to their gym routine 6 weeks out of surgery?

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6 weeks is really a very short time.  When I had my hear valve replaced, I started Cardiac Rehab at 8 weeks.  I would not be rushing to the gym after 6 weeks.  Take it gently, go to Rehab (if it is offered) and stick with it.  I was only 48 when my valve was replaced and everyone else at Rehab was in the 70s, so it is very easy to drop out - don't.


As you know the ticking will stay, but the pounding did stop for me - after 13 weeks I was back at work (on a controlled return to work) and working full time at about 24 weeks (my company insisted on this slow ramp up).


The operation changed my life (very much for the better), so after 6 weeks don't panic - when you start getting your strength back, just slowly increase the walking and listen to your body.  Good luck.  James

Thanks James. I wasn't offered rehab, but I walk about 1 to 2 miles a day. I think I am just getting a litle bored and want to start feeling like the old 45 year old me again! At least I will be able to drive next week. I am glad to hear your pounding went away. I am getting mixed answers from doctors and nurses about it. Some say because I am not heavier that sensation will stay, others say it should go away. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Hi Tina

          Im 9 weeks in and my heart pound's loudly , Im pretty active now and it pound's louder with activity when im working in my house it sound's like someone walking . I know i will get used to it but it just take's time . Do what you can without over doing , you are the best judge for the most part .I have chopped wood lightly and also shot a recurve bow and arrow with a 39 lb pull with no I'll effects but you have to know your limit on thing,s . The further you go the less you will hear the pounding hopefully .


Guys, 8+ years on and the pounding is still there - if you push yourself too hard! You will get used to it.. I promise! It does take time though... I hear it as a click. tick. and thump more than a pounding.. the biggest thing to get over is the fact that it is PERFECTLY NORMAL and your heart WONT jump out of your chest with exertion or exercise.. it is actually doing you good - but DONT try and be a hero with lifting gym etc..slow and steady does the trick!  





Thanks for the information. All this noise is definitely going to take time getting use to.
Just remember you are now special!  And when you are in a quiet room, with people who do not know you have a MHV, just look at them, when they are trying to work out what the clicking is!
I went swiming after 4wks and it was my lenghes up to 20 now.started of at6. So om getting there..good luck.alicia

Hi  - I to was a commited gym goer prior to surgery and I returned to the gym at about 5 to 6 weeks out  - walking on a treadmill with a gradient and cycling lightly, I got bored of walking around my local area. The surgeon said it was fine as long as I listened to my body and didn't lift any weights over 2kg or above my shoulders until I got to 4 months. I am now 4 months and 3 weeks  - I am fully active in the gym but I understand I am starting all the way back at the beginning of another phase in my personal rehab.


I returned to work on a phased approach from 6 weeks - the boredom was to much - but I always allowed myself the ability to get home and rest if my energy levels dropped.


In terms of the thumping luckily I feel this disapated quite quickly for me, it really doesn't feature that much anymore, the ticking is barely noticeable, may a little when I try to go to sleep. I like to think the physical activity helped reduce this, but the reality is they are probably unconnected.



Like James has said the cardio rehab is a very good controlled way to get back into the exercise as you can do a bit more each week, I was also alarmed by my heart pounding but it does get better and you tend not to notice it as much  you do start to feel like your old self just with an added ticking !!!

best of luck  Mark

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