Vice President Cheney receives ICD

Susan Jeffrey

June 30, 2001

Sun, 01 Jul 2001 00:00:00

Vice President Cheney leaves the hospital after receiving an ICD (Source: George Washington University Hospital)

Washington, DC - Vice President Dick Cheney today underwent electrophysiology testing and implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) at George Washington University Hospital (Washington, DC). The vice president is doing well, and has already been discharged home.

"Everything went exceedingly well, exactly as planned," said Dr Alan Wasserman (Chairman, Department of Medicine, George Washington University Hospital) in a statement from the hospital.

The possibility that the vice president might require an ICD was raised when ambulatory Holter monitoring done about 2 weeks ago showed 4 separate, short (1-2 seconds) episodes of rapid heart rhythm. The episodes were completely asymptomatic, Cheney told a White House press conference yesterday.

Drs Reiner, Wasserman, and Yee describe the ICD implantation to reporters (Source: George Washington University Hospital)

"This test today was the result of proactive testing on our part," said Dr Jonathan S Reiner, chairman of the GW cardiac catherization laboratory and Cheney's cardiologist, also in the GW statement. "This is about not waiting for symptoms. The vice president's prognosis is terrific."

President George W Bush announced Cheney's procedure during a news conference at Camp David in Maryland, where he was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, CNN reports. "I'm told the operation went well," Bush told reporters.

The CNN report also notes that Bush was asked whether he thought Cheney should curtail his duties because of his health problems. "No, I don't think he ought to slow down," Bush replied. "I think he ought to listen to his body, which he has been doing."

Cheney has a lengthy history of heart disease. His first MI occurred in 1978, and since then he has had 3 further MIs, bypass surgery, and most recently stent implantation in March 2001. This is his third hospitalization for cardiac problems since he took office.

"You never know until it's over"

The Medtronic Gem III DR (Source: Medtronic)

Cheney arrived at the hospital this morning around 8:00 am along with his wife Lynne, the statement adds. CNN reports that the vice president, asked by reporters whether he expected an "easy day," replied, "Yes I am, but you never know until it's over.

Leaving the hospital after the procedure, MSNBC reports Cheney looked "tired and stiff" as he entered his limousine to leave the hospital, but waved to onlookers and said "Feel good, sore shoulder, good shape."

The EP test and ICD implantation was carried out by Dr Sung Lee (Director, Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, George Washington University Hospital). The defibrillator chosen by Lee was the Gem ® III DR (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN). The vice president was sedated, and the procedure took less than an hour and a half.

Cheney's incision will be checked later in the week, but in the meantime, he is expected to return to work Monday.



Related links

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4. [Heartwire > Mediapulse; Jun 29, 2001]

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