Clinton Leaves Hospital, Heads Home

Former President Clinton (search) left the hospital after minor surgery, saying he was "very grateful" to his medical team and "deeply" appreciated the thousands of get-well messages sent to him.

"I'm glad to be home and look forward to getting back to work within the next month or so," Clinton said in a statement issued Monday by his spokesman, Jim Kennedy.

The 42nd president's recovery was proceeding normally, and he has begun walking each day, Kennedy said. He is expected to remain at home in Chappaqua (search), about 40 miles north of Manhattan, for the next four to six weeks.

Clinton underwent surgery last week to remove scar tissue and fluid around his left lung. His medical problem developed after his heart bypass surgery (search) six months ago.

Doctors described the operation as a low-risk procedure to relieve a problem that crops up in only a fraction of 1 percent of bypass cases. They said the combination of fluid and scar tissue had reduced Clinton's left lung capacity by 25 percent.

Surgeons removed a rind of scar tissue nearly a third of an inch thick in some places. The doctors had said Clinton would be hospitalized for three to 10 days; he was released after four.

Nearly 10,000 people have sent get-well messages to Clinton through his foundation's Web site. "Get well soon so you can be up and around to continue your wonderful contributions to this world!" said one.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accompanied her husband to their upstate home. A motorcade of SUVs was seen leaving New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center shortly after 5 p.m.