“Will My Husband’s Heart Valve Click?” Asks Jodi

By Adam Pick on November 29, 2008

Selecting a mechanical or bioprosthetic heart valve replacement prior to surgery is not easy. There are pros and cons to both types of valve replacement devices. On that note, Jodi just emailed me about one side effect of aortic mechanical valve replacements… The clicking noise.

Jodi writes, “Hi Adam! My husband has aortic valve insufficiency and will need the valve replaced in the near future. We have been seeing his cardiologist every 6 months for 3 years. The cardiologist has recommended that my husband, who is 48 years old, get a mechanical aortic valve. On Friday, when we were in the doctor’s office, we heard for the first time that you can hear the “click” noise of the valve. He has never mentioned that to us before and we are not too excited about that. Can you hear really hear the valve click inside the heart? Does your valve click? –Thanks, Jodi”



This is an interesting question that Jodi raises. So you know, I did not have a mechanical valve implanted during my aortic valve replacement surgery. However, I know several hundred patients that live with mechanical valves.

Patient reactions to the “clicking noise” is mixed. While some patient are annoyed by the click, most get used to the click. Still, there are other patients who don’t hear the clicking noise at all.

For example, here is an interesting patient story about Margaret Reese. Margaret had mechanical valve replacement surgery 27 years ago. In this post, she describes the experience of living with a clicking heart valve.

In addition, if you would like to see if you can hear a mechanical valve click, check out this video with Linda Kincaid. She had an On-X mechanical valve implanted a few years ago.



I hope this helps!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Yvette says on November 16th, 2016 at 8:24 am

I too am having trouble adjusting to my click, click. I’m surviving on 3-4hours sleep per night. My son over the tv hears it and jokes about it, I’m able to laugh sometimes about it but overall it’s very depressing. My dr has said to me….
If you can hear it remember your alive. Please talk to someone about it it’s not healthy that your taking this strong medication to sleep. I had my aortic valve replaced 6/9/2016 I’m 53 years old.

chrisalien says on November 17th, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Hi Steve
I had a mechanical valve put in after a aortic dissection. Just yesterday, after I went to get my INR readings done, I asked the nurse about the noise of the valve. I am booked in to see the doc and get some more sleeping tablets. Some days I hardly notice it but other days I cannot sleep. Unfortunately the blood thinners appear to be essential but preventative in nature. Its summer down here in Oz so I sleep also with a noisy fan going.

Steve McEnaney says on December 20th, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Sorry to say it but, no it does not.

Melissa Mailer-Yates says on January 29th, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I had my mitral done in 2001, said I’d never do it again, but had to have my aortic done in 2009! Both are mechanical valves and so now double the click. They can be entertaining for kids, but I wouldn’t want to be the person sat next to me on a flight! I never thought I would get used to the noise, but I did. True, I am always aware of it, especially at night, but it can also be useful to be aware of any changes to my ectopics or other oddities. So for those concerned it will always be a problem, relax, you do eventually forget it, although I do crave silence, just remember, if it does go quiet – you got a problem!

Nadia van Raam says on February 7th, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Does the clicking have anything to do with weight. I am thin and they keep saying its because of that that my clicking is so loud. I am trying to think of somethig that might help. Ladies…. push up bra’s?? do they perhaps help? I am used to meditating in groups and I can tell you its torture for me now. Hear it all the time and dont want to disturb others 🙁

IrishLad says on February 9th, 2017 at 9:11 pm

I had my mitral valve replaced with a metal one last November. I spent many nights on this blog reading other people’s experiences to try to prepare; I was a very nervous patient. The clicking noise of the valve is fairly loud at times, and obviously (and thankfully!), it’s constant. I found it very difficult to sleep with it when I got home from hospital, and I still do sometimes. I leave a fan on in my room at night to drown out the clicking noise. I’m nearly three months out from surgery now, and I’m starting to get used to it. I am still very conscious of the noise, but other things have been a far bigger adjustment. I had a job interview last week and I was very worried the interviewers would comment on it – they didn’t. I’m 24, so I’m quite conscious of it in social situations, too. But it’s important to remember, its a small price to pay for continued good health. If I focus on the annoyance of it too much, and let it become ‘a thing’, I will be defeating the purpose of having had the surgery in the first place. I really do empathise with all those who find it tough to deal with – I feel your pain! It’s very much one day at a time. Thanks to all the blog posters on this thread and others, you all helped me in more ways than I can say or than you will ever know.

Jason Superjase du Toit says on February 14th, 2017 at 2:14 am

i would LOVE to have a double click. my single click isn’t quite enough for me 🙂

brian minnick says on March 1st, 2017 at 11:09 am

Chrisalien i also had a dissection type a and new arch and mechanical valve also more dissection im dealing with. What type did u have?my email is orangeventura@yahoo.com if u want to chat.thanks

chrisalien says on March 4th, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Hi Brian
Yep I had what they call a bentall procedure and it was dissection type a. All my info I have at my workplace so i will grab it next week. I am also allergic to the contrast they use when they give you a CT scan. HAH. The dissection should have killed me, they told me, then they gave me the CT scan and I went into anaphylactic shock , which almost killed me, then they did it again this time getting me to take antihistamines and other medications, and I went into shock again.
So cheated death 3 times….I really dont want this to be a habit.
When you say more dissection, what do you have to get done?

brian minnick says on March 5th, 2017 at 12:33 am

Hey chrisalien,well i had a new arch and grafted to my desending and a mechanical valve which i hate. Found out under the descending graft im dissecting down to both iliacs. I have a 3.2 dissecting anerysm on right iliac and the rest of my aorta is dissecting. They told me i had a 10percent chance to live i told thm to let me die thn i woke up aftet a 8hr surgery still wanting to be dead. Now im living in hell since they saved my life which is a joke. Im suicidal and goin nuts cause of wat they did to me and now wat i have to face in the future if i make it. U can email me if u want at orangeventura@yahoo.com i am now 46 and ths happened 9months ago. I would like to know more bout u? None of us really survive and when we due were not the same. I hope to here from u. Thanks

brian minnick says on March 7th, 2017 at 1:31 am

Hey its brian if u sent me a mess i deleted by accident wasnt sure if it was u.

Edward Bauman says on June 2nd, 2017 at 9:51 pm

I had m surgery 6 weeks ago. On-x Valve. It clicks quite a bit. Yes, it’s annoying, but the worse part for me? I am a sound designer. I record sounds. I have no idea how I will record sounds again now. Any microphone picks the click sound quite well. Maybe recording days are over =/

Edward Bauman says on June 2nd, 2017 at 9:52 pm

To build on this though… better the recording days to be over, then all days. Or maybe all my recordings will come with a natural watermark.

Gary Girolimon says on July 13th, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Just found this site. I have a mechanical aortic valve. I can hear it click when the room is very quiet. Doesn’t bother me. I enjoy ocean swimming and on two occasions dolphins have swam right up to me out in the wild. My theory is that they hear the clicking and are curious. As long as the sharks don’t think it’s the dinner bell…

rozmina patel says on July 21st, 2017 at 10:00 am

wha happens if the clock stop making the ticking noise . but the clock still works . is there a major issuie on that ?

Sarah says on September 12th, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Hi, how is the sound for you now? I’m on here because mine is bothering me right now. Can you feel yours too? Mine feels like a constant tapping on my sternum, sometimes it’s more of a thud. I got mine In January 2015 (I was 27). I hope in time the sound and feeling lessen! What I try to remember is this is better that repeated operations throughout my life if I were to have chosen the pig valve. I also have kidney disease (got my kidney transplant after a 9 year wait in December 2015!) so my cardiologist said a pig valve would only last 5 years rather than the usual 15, but I’m sure no one would want that surgery again even every 15 years! The downsides of the metal valve are worth it IMO – you just have to distract yourself when it’s bothersome.

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