Arnold Schwarzenegger is in stable condition after undergoing heart surgery on Thursday.
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In true Schwarzenegger style, his first words upon waking up from the procedure were — get this — “I’m back,” according to spokesperson Daniel Ketchell. Nope, totally not kidding. “So he is in good spirits,” he added.
The 70-year-old bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician was scheduled for a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to replace a pulmonic valve. He first had the valve replaced in 1997 at the age of 49 for a heart defect (an abnormality he was born with). The initial valve had outlived its life expectancy, so “he chose to replace it yesterday through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement,” his spokesman, Daniel Ketchell, told the Washington Post.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a procedure replacing a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly on its own. It’s a good option for individuals who are considered at “intermediate or high risk of complications from surgical aortic valve replacement.”
TMZ first reported Schwarzenegger’s surgery, claiming that during the “somewhat experimental” catheter valve replacement procedure, complications arose and doctors opted to perform an emergency open-heart surgery. However, Ketchell, maintains that an open-heart surgery team was on hand in case something went wrong, but they were not needed. So no need to be so dramatic, TMZ!
“They frequently are in these circumstances in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed,” Ketchell said. “Governor Schwarzenegger’s pulmonic valve was successfully replaced.”
We are relieved Schwarzenegger made it through his surgery safely and hope for his speedy recovery!
What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised Arnold Schwarzenegger was born with a congenital heart defect? Why do you think he has kept it a secret until now? Are you familiar with the procedure he had? Tell us in the comments!