WASHINGTON (AFP) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Former US vice president Dick Cheney had a new heart device implanted when he was operated on last week, he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Doctors implanted a pump that improves heart function in the 69-year-old Cheney at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, in the Washington suburbs.
The statement said the operation took place last week, without giving a date. Cheney was hospitalized in late June.
“The operation went very well and I am now recuperating,” he said.
One of America’s most powerful and controversial vice presidents, Cheney was a driving force behind George W. Bush’s “war on terror” that included the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, warrantless wiretapping on US citizens, and the use of torture on terror suspects.
“As many of you know, I have dealt with coronary artery disease for decades, suffering my first heart attack in 1978 at age 37,” Cheney said in the statement.
“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 that he decided to “take advantage of one of the new technologies available and have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted.”
He described the device as “a small implantable pump that improves heart function and will enable me to resume an active life.”
Cheney has had a long list of health scares, including undergoing quadruple bypass surgery and two artery-clearing angioplasties. In 2001, he was fitted with a pacemaker.
Despite his persistent health problems, Cheney has remained a prominent Republican on the political scene since leaving office, often criticizing President Barack Obama.