The former President Bill Clinton yesterday survived heart bypass surgery and was said to be resting comfortably after the five-hour operation at New York Presbyterian Hospital in upper Manhattan. "Everything has been going smoothly," an aide of his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, said. After the procedure her 58-year-old husband was moved to the intensive care unit. Doctors said that if all went well he could be in general care within 24 or 48 hours. The former president underwent surgery three days after being admitted to hospital suffering from chest pains and shortness of breath. In a telephone interview from the hospital that Friday evening with the CNN host Larry King, Mr Clinton confessed to being "a little scared, but not much". The operation, which involved the bypassing of three or four clogged arteries to Mr Clinton's heart, has become fairly routine, though there is a fatality rate of about 1 per cent. Mr Clinton, who was president between 1993 and 2001, has blamed the problem in part on a family history of such illness, but admitted that he "may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate". In the White House he was known as a keen jogger and golfer, but also as a heavy consumer of fast food, informs the NEWS. According toKATV Channel 7, former President Bill Clinton was still sedated and using a breathing tube about four hours after his quadruple bypass surgery this afternoon. But doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia said Clinton came through the surgery well and was on schedule for a normal recovery. The hospital's chief of cardiothoracic surgery Doctor Craig Smith led the surgical team. The office of the former president released a statement saying he came through the surgery ok. If he recovers normally, he'll be able to leave the hospital in four to five days and return to full activity within six weeks. The 58-year-old former president and Arkansas governor has been joined at the hospital by his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and his daughter, Chelsea. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was recovering after undergoing successful heart bypass surgery at a New York hospital, and doctors said he may be able to resume normal activity within weeks. Doctors perform bypass surgery when the arteries that bring blood to the heart become clogged by cholesterol deposits or fatty plaques. More than 300,000 people undergo the surgery each year, according to government statistics from 2001, the most recent year for which data is available, reports Bloomberg.
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