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Ex-President Clinton Undergoes Heart Procedure
Date:2/11/2010

Stents inserted to reopen clogged coronary artery

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Former President Bill Clinton was said to be "in good spirits" Thursday evening in a New York City hospital after he had two stents inserted into a clogged heart artery.

The 63-year-old Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, had been complaining of chest pains, according to published reports.

"Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest," the former president's counselor, Douglas Band, said in a prepared statement.

"Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries," Band said, adding that Clinton was "in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left Washington, D.C., and headed to New York to be with her husband.

ABC News reported that its chief political correspondent, George Stephanopoulos, said that sources told him "this is not life-threatening." Stephanopoulos, who once worked for Clinton in the White House, noted Clinton's non-stop work ethic and said the former president has worked "20 hours a day for the last 20 years," the network said.

Stents are tiny mesh scaffolds or tubes that are used to prop open an artery after it has been unclogged in an angioplasty procedure. In 2004, when clogged arteries first hospitalized Clinton, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery because of four blocked arteries, some of which had squeezed almost completely shut, the Associated Press reported.

Angioplasty, which usually includes placing stents, is a common medical procedure, with more than half a million stents inserted into patients each year in the United States.

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