July 28, 2007
Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, had surgery Saturday to replace an implanted device that monitors his heartbeat.
Doctors at George Washington University Hospital replaced the defibrillator, a sealed unit that includes a battery. If the device were to sense an abnormal heart rhythm, it would deliver an electronic shock to reset the vice president's heart to a normal beat.
"The device was successfully replaced without complication," said Megan McGinn, the vice president's deputy press secretary.
Doctors did not replace the wiring attached to the defibrillator. Replacing these defibrillator wires, which thread through Cheney's heart, would have required a much more extensive operation.
The Cheney family returned to their residence at the Naval Observatory, just a few miles away, and the vice president would resume his normal schedule.
Cheney has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two
artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant the defibrillator six years ago.