Linda’s Challenge: Can You Hear My Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement Tick?

By Adam Pick on March 2, 2015

As patients evaluate their heart valve replacement choices, one question patients often have about mechanical valves is, “Will I hear the valve tick?”

It’s a great question. So you know, sound is one of the differences between mechanical valves and tissue valves. Mechanical valve replacements are known to make a ticking sound while tissue valves are silent.

To help you better understand the actual ticking sound of a mechanical valve, I filmed this impromptu video with Linda Kincaid, a patient from Indiana, who had a mechanical valve implanted last year.

 

 

Fyi… I could barely hear Linda’s mechanical valve tick. To me, it sounded almost like a wrist watch ticking. Could you hear it? To leave a comment, scroll below!

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

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.


Nina says on March 3rd, 2015 at 1:42 am

I’m about to have a replacement, I’ve opted for the non mechanical, partly because of the noise and the warfarin draw backs. Not an easy choice though :-/

My gf even said if she was to hear a mechanical one in me speed up when talking with other women I’d be in trouble…. A bit harsh, what do you think?



Beverly says on March 3rd, 2015 at 9:57 am

I had my aortic valve replaced 20 years ago (March 7) with a mechanical valve. At first, the ticking bothered me until I got used to it. Now, it reassures me. Mine is a St. Jude Valve.



Adam says on March 3rd, 2015 at 11:42 am

Hi Beverly, Great to hear how your tick reassures. And… 20 years? Wow! Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!



Amy Marie Perkins says on March 3rd, 2015 at 12:27 pm

My replacement was 4+ years ago…..I hear the ticking….my 9 year old daughter loves to place her head on my chest and listen for the ticking <3



Pauline Hieronymus says on March 3rd, 2015 at 9:35 pm

I had a mechanical mitral placed in 2009. I do tick and it isn’t an issue to me. My 3 year old grand-daughter loves to listen to it. I sometimes second guess the choice due to all the complications of warfarin. However the thought of possibly having to replace a tissue valve in 10-15 years did not appeal to me either. I also had the valve done robotically without the traditional chest splitting. Just call me Timex.



Renee Brown says on March 4th, 2015 at 2:48 am

I am two and half years post op and now cannot sleep unless I hear the valve a ticking…



Beverly says on March 4th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Thank you, Adam. All in all, I truly believe that I made the right decision, for me.



Adam says on March 4th, 2015 at 11:39 am

Hi Renee, Great to hear how the tick escorts you into dreamtime. That’s great.



Adam says on March 4th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

YAY! Woo-Whoo! Happy Dance for Beverly!!!



Kim Blaze says on November 10th, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I couldn’t really hear in video but after reading one of your other articles and everyone commented on how mechanical valve ruined their lives, sleeplessness, depressed etc I’m more overwhelmed now as today at 43 told I need one in January to replace cow valve… Also scared to death being on Coumadin for second half my life too.. Please help, crying mom here!



brian minnick says on March 5th, 2017 at 11:30 am

Kim blaze. I also have a mechanical valve its been 9months. I had a type a emergency surgery and a mechanical valve st jude. Im getn use to the valve even though i hate taking warfarin but now my whole aorta is dissecting and valve is the last thing on my mind. No one really. hears of i dissection but if u dont no its were ur aorta tears apart.my whole aorta is tearing which means many surgery’s ahead so if ur concerned about the valve it takes time to get used to. I wish that was the least of my problems. Ul b ok.



Cheryl Lacognata says on August 26th, 2017 at 8:43 pm

I had 2 valves replaced May 10 of this year, and my grandson ask me , grandma why does my heart say boom boom and your says tick tick?
The tick is driving me crazy. Do you ever get use to it?



Cheryl Lacognata says on August 26th, 2017 at 8:48 pm

If I could suggest not going with the cow valve first they can’t test them for mad cow disease and 2nd they don’t last long, and at 43 you don’t want to go threw that horrific surgery twice. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone threw. I’m 46 and with the mechanical valve I will not have to have it done again in my life time. I do wish you the best. Do you know who is doing your surgery?



Cheryl Lacognata says on August 26th, 2017 at 8:53 pm

You still have to take warfarin, with the mechanical. My brother has been on it for 20 years and has no side affects.
I wish you a great recovery it is hard as hell to endore. I’m 46 and it was a ruff road back. Mine was 15 weeks ago. God bless you.



Kim Blaze says on August 27th, 2017 at 9:42 am

Hi all! I had aortic aneurysm and valve replacement with a cow valve at 32 (2005 as believe shouldn’t really be on Coumadin while pregnant and wanted to be a mom). I’ve since had 2nd (and hopefully last!) valve replacement this year (2/17 at 43) and doing well though im still REALLY tired and had breathing issues but doing little better once requested metoprolol be decreased as was very high doses…
My coumadin/INR levels are still all over place and on high doses of it so wondering if that makes me tired too (theyve split my dosing to two times day as think metabolize it quickly)…
I had no issues or concerns about mad cow or even getting blood transfusions (both were only with 1st surgery) and happy to be here and mom of 2 boys now and appreciating each day! Yes i slightly tick at times but no issues w it (and sleep w fan on anyways!) 😉
Best wishes too all!!


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