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British Heart Foundation
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Heart beat knocks more after open heart surgery

2 weeks after heart surgery and noticing when inhaling deep and holding breath a little longer I can feel heart beat knocking against chest. Is this normal? Especially after surgery. Felt more when seated. Will this dissipate over time? Anyone feeling these symptoms? I'm doing breathing exercises daily to help expand chest.

6 Replies

Just researched that this is quite common post op from aortic valve replacement surgery.

Just checked on link below and many patients experienced these symptoms.

At least I know I'm not alone in this.

Phew! Was getting little paranoid something not right.



Hi getrico, experienced similar tho I had a bypass. One trick for helping with your breathing exercises, get your dog to leap against your chest 4 days after coming out of hospital, works a treat! Seriously wouldn't recommend that but she did do it to me, boy did I scream lol


I am a sneezer boy do I sneeze yet for 4 weeks I only sneezed once (and boy did that hurt) I am back to sneezing about 20 ties a day and while it is uncomfortable luckily it isn't painful.

If a dog had jumped on me only 4 days after surgery I would have screamed too!

getrico I know it is not 'real' but I am a big fan of the West Wing (TV programme) and in one of the episodes one of the characters Leo had heart surgery and he said he could hear his heart beating and the nurse told him that the 'sack' around the heart is cut during surgery but eventually repairs itself which is why things seem more intense.

As I said it was on a TV programme but they usually do their research first. Hopefully it will return to normal soon.

1 like

Thanks for that. I researched it and we're not alone in this so I'm slightly releaved and have to bear through it. Gonna take some time to heal.


Hi, I think this is normal, I had my surgery 5yrs ago and I still can sometimes get that feeling, especially when I'm

In bed laying on my left side, it's bizarre sensation. I hope you recover quickly and back to normal in no time :-) good luck

1 like

Thanks for that. I was hoping it'll disappear within a year or so. Crazy. Just managed to sleep flat on back now and that was the best nights sleep since my discharge.

It's still there when leaning upright so just can't wait till it goes. A real nuisance.


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