Dick Cheney Undergoes Heart Surgery

Former VP has small pump implanted

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has battled coronary artery disease for decades, had a small heart pump implanted last week at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Cheney said in a statement that the operation went "very well" and that he is recuperating at the hospital after undergoing the procedure at the hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute.

"A few weeks ago, it became clear that I was entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure," Cheney said in the statement. "After a series of recent tests and discussions with my doctors, I decided to take advantage of one of the new technologies available and have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted."

Cheney said the pump will help him "resume an active life."

Cheney suffered his first heart attack in 1978 at age 37.  He suffered a minor heart attack in February, which was his fifth, and has undergone a quadruple-bypass surgery and two procedures to unclog his arteries, according to the New York Times.

Cheney was admitted to George Washington Hospital in late June after experiencing discomfort, and he received medication for a heart ailment.

According to the American Heart Association, LVADs usually are implanted in patients with severe heart failure and are referred to as a "bridge to a transplant."


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