Thursday, February 11, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton hospitalized for heart procedure.

*en: Official White House photo of President B...Image via Wikipedia
From Fox News:

Bill Clinton underwent a heart procedure at a New York City hospital Thursday to get two stents implanted after he felt "discomfort in his chest," a representative for the former president said.

The former president, 63, "is in good spirits" after the operation at the Columbia campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Clinton laywer Douglas Band said in a written statement. Clinton underwent the procedure to place the stents in one of his coronary arteries following a visit to his cardiologist, Band said.

"President Clinton ... will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," he said.

Dr. Alan Schwartz, his cardiologist, said there was, "no evidence of a heart attack."

Clinton went to see Schwartz because he was experiencing "chest discomforts, brief in nature" on a repetitive basis over the past several day.

Schwartz said the former president's prognosis is excellent and he was already up and walking around.

"We hope to have him go home tomorrow," he said. "The goal of the treatment is for President Clinton to resume his very active lifestyle."

He said the incident was in no way a result of the former president's lifestyle or diet, adding Clinton is in "excellent condition."

Clinton went through quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 to free four blocked arteries.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea were both at the hospital.

Officials said Hillary Clinton will push her trip to the Middle East back a day, leaving Saturday instead of Friday.

President Obama spoke to Clinton Thursday night and wished him a speedy recovery, a White House official told Fox News.

Obama told Clinton that the efforts in Haiti were too important for him to be laid up for too long and hopes he'll be ready to get back to work as soon as possible, the official said.

Clinton said he was feeling "absolutely great."

Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld told Fox News that a stent procedure like this, involving angioplasty, is common for people who have had bypass surgery.

"When the coronary artery is blocked, there are two major options for restoring blood flow to the portion of the heart muscle that's been deprived," Rosenfeld said. "One is angioplasty and the other is bypass surgery."

Rosenfeld added that "the angioplasty is much easier, but over the long run, bypass operations carry less chance of the artery becoming (blocked) down the road."

Former President George W. Bush, who is working with Bill Clinton on the relief efforts in Haiti, and his wife, Laura, sent his prayers to him for a speedy recovery.

"President Bush spoke to Chelsea Clinton this afternoon and was glad to hear that her father is doing well and that his spirits are high," David Sherzer, spokesman for the former president, said in a written statement. "President Bush looks forward to continuing to work with his friend on Haiti relief and rebuilding."

Former President George H.W. Bush, who teamed up with Clinton in 2005 for tsunami relief efforts in Asia, also wished Clinton a "speedy and full recovery."

A Democratic source close to the family told Fox News the former president, who recently traveled to Haiti, had been feeling ill after returning and complaining of chest pains for "days."

"This is something that I believe was there just waiting to cause a problem," he said.

Dr. Steven Garner of New York Methodist Hospital told Fox News the "stress" of the president's recent trips to Haiti could have triggered a heart problem.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment.

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