Barbara Walters says she will undergo heart surgery later this week.
"You know how I always say to you how healthy I am. ... Never missed a day's work," Walters announced Monday on The View. "Later this week, I'm going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve. Now lots of people have done this and I have known about this condition for a while now."
The co-host and creator of the daytime talk show said that she and her doctors opted to go through with the surgery this week so her recovery time coincides with the show's summer hiatus.
Walters explained that an echocardiogram indicated her valves were "getting tighter and smaller," and said she kept the news a secret for many months.
"I felt it best not to talk about it too far in advance," Walters said.
When asked if she was scared by fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg, the 80-year-old TV icon assured her fans she'll just be glad to get it over with.
"Look, nobody wants to have this kind of surgery. It's not elective," Walters replied. "But it's an operation that's done so often, and I have very good doctors and I have the support and love — my daughter, of course, is coming in. So, I don't think I'm really scared. I'm glad it's going to be over with. It's going to be taken care of. And It's been on my mind for a long time and I wanted to wait and tell all of you because you're the people I'm with every single day."
Walters, who created The View in 1997 and served as the co-host of 20/20 for 25 years, said recovery time can last from a month to three months, but she expects "to be calling in from time to time."
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