Former President Bill Clinton will have heart surgery early next week, his wife said on Friday. "He will be having surgery early in the week," Sen. Hillary Clinton said after visiting the former president in hospital in New York. Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Milstein Pavilion on Friday for heart bypass surgery after experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath, informs Reuters. According to ABCNEWS, Bill Clinton was hospitalized with chest pains and shortness of breath Friday and will undergo heart bypass surgery in an operation that could sideline the former president at the height of the campaign for the White House. An angiogram showed that Clinton, who turned 58 two weeks ago, had significant blockage in his heart arteries but did not suffer a heart attack, a doctor who performed the test told The Associated Press. It was not clear when the surgery would be performed, but Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, said: "They did advise him to have bypass surgery, and to do it as soon as he could." In bypass surgery, a new piece of blood vessel, usually taken from the patient's leg, is sewn into place to create a detour around a blockage. Patients typically spend three to five days in the hospital and are encouraged to be fairly active right away. Clinton had agreed to campaign for Democrat John Kerry in the two months to go before the election, and had appeared at some Democratic Party events. He awaited the operation at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, in upper Manhattan, not far from his Harlem office. During his two terms as president, Clinton was an avid jogger also known for his love of fast food. But in January of this year, Clinton said he had cut out junk food after going on "The South Beach Diet" and starting a workout regimen. He has long struggled with a weight problem, but had recently appeared much leaner. CBS5 reports that former President Bill Clinton was in a New York City hospital Friday evening, preparing to undergo heart surgery. Clinton, 58, first went to the doctor after complaining of chest pain. Doctors told the former president that he was not having a heart attack, but an angiogram found significant blockage. Heart bypass surgery is done when an artery is blocked and cannot be cleared with an angioplasty. Patients typically stay in the hospital for three to five days, but full recovery from the effects of the surgery can take months.
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