Barbara Bush recovering nicely after heart surgery

March 5, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Former first lady Barbara Bush, 83, underwent successful open heart surgery Wednesday, to replace her aortic valve hospital officials said.

After Bush, experienced a shortness of breath, doctors determined her aortic valve had started to harden. The aortic valve opens to allow blood to be pumped out of the heart into the body, then closes to prevent blood from flowing back into the heart.
The surgery, scheduled last week at The Methodist Hospital lasted about 2 1/2 hours and went smoothly.

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, a heart surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, replaced the valve with a biologic valve, which is made of natural living tissue, the hospital said in a statement.

NBC News reported that Bush was awake and alert in the intensive care unit, with Her husband, former President George H. W. Bush, at her side.

The hospital said the former first lady was expected to be released in seven to 10 days.


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