Former VP Cheney has heart surgery, recovering

Former Vice President Cheney says surgery to improve his heart function with an implantable pump went well. An aide says Mr. Cheney is still recuperating in a Washington-area hospital.  Mr. Cheney has been suffering from heart disease for more than 30 years. See his statement below for more:

Statement from former Vice President Cheney

July 14, 2010

As many of you know, I have dealt with coronary artery disease for decades, suffering my first heart attack in 1978 at age 37.  Over the years, excellent care from my doctors and advances in medicine and technology have allowed me to live a full and active life, for which I am very grateful.

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.  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.  The LVAD is a small implantable pump that improves heart function and will enable me to resume an active life.

Last week I underwent surgery at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute and had an LVAD implanted. The operation went very well and I am now recuperating.

I am grateful for the wonderful care that I have received over the years at George Washington University Hospital, and that I am currently receiving at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute.

I also want to thank all of you who have included my family and me in your thoughts and prayers.