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Arnold Schwarzenegger undergoes emergency open heart surgery

LOS ANGELES: Veteran Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in stable condition after undergoing emergency open-heart surgery, his spokesman Daniel Ketchell confirmed via Twitter.

Ketchell took to Twitter to update the fans on the actor’s condition saying, former California governor was awake. “His first words were actually, ‘I’m back,’ so he’s in good spirits,”

According to TMZ, the 70-year-old was at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a catheter valve replacement. When the experimental procedure resulted in complications, doctors decided to open him up.

Ketchell confirmed their account in his statement, noting, “Yesterday, Gov. Schwarzenegger underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997,” he explained in a statement. “That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent and has outlived his life expectancy, so he chose to replace it yesterday through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement.”

He continued “During that procedure, an open heart surgery team was prepared, as they frequently are in these circumstances, in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed. Gov. Schwarzenegger’s pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and he is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition. We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts.”

This was Schwarzenegger’s fourth cardiac surgery, though only two were intentional.

When he was 50, Schwarzenegger had an aortic valve replaced to repair a congenital condition. That 1997 operation, too, produced complications, requiring another emergency procedure.

“I was very scared,” he told Barbara Walters in that year’s 10 Most Fascinating People special. “I could have died… All of a sudden, in the middle of the night, I started getting less and less air and I have problems breathing.”



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