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Bill Clinton leaves US hospital
Former US president returns home after procedure to open blocked artery in his heart.
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2010 19:53 GMT
Schwartz said Clinton would be able to resume his 'very active lifestyle' [EPA]

Bill Clinton, the former US president, has arrived home following a successful heart procedure at a New York hospital to open a blocked artery in his heart that had caused him chest discomfort.

Television footage showed Clinton, who was president from 1993 until 2001, walking to his vehicle as he left the hospital and later arriving home in the New York suburb of Chappaqua.

"President Clinton was released from New York Presbyterian/Columbia this morning in excellent health," Douglas Band, counsellor to Clinton, said in a statement.

Clinton, 63, had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004 to free up four blocked arteries.

The latest incident comes after he has travelled twice to Haiti to help recovery efforts after a devastating earthquake there.

"He looks forward in the days ahead to getting back to the work of his foundation, and to Haiti relief and recovery efforts," Band said.

'Excellent' prognosis

Two stents were placed in one of Clinton's coronary arteries on Thursday after tests showed that one of the arteries operated on in 2004 needed to be reopened, Dr Allan Schwartz, head of cardiology at Columbia, told journalists.

He said there was no indication Clinton had a heart attack or of any damage to his heart.

Schwartz said Clinton could resume his "very active lifestyle" and return to work as soon as Monday, giving the former US president an "excellent" prognosis.

Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived at the hospital on Thursday evening, joining the couple's daughter Chelsea.

A senior administration official told the Reuters news agency that Hillary Clinton's departure to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, planned for Friday, was delayed by a day.

The White House said Clinton told Barack Obama, the US president, that he felt "absolutely great" after the procedure.

Eating habits

Having stents placed in heart arteries is a relatively quick and routine procedure among patients like Clinton who have suffered from heart disease.

Stents are tiny mesh tubes used to prop open heart arteries that have been cleared of blockages via angioplasty.

They are now often coated with drugs to help prevent reclogging.

While in office, Clinton was known for his love of junk food but friends and family say he changed his eating habits after his 2004 bypass.

Most recently, in his role as UN special envoy to Haiti, he has played an active role in mobilising aid to the Caribbean nation following last month's deadly earthquake.

Last week Clinton paid a second visit to Haiti in a bid to get aid moving to survivors.

Source:
Agencies
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