October 3rd, 2007
03:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Sen. Warner successfully undergoes heart procedure

Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Warner of Virginia successfully underwent a non-surgical procedure Wednesday to maintain proper heart rate and rhythm, his office said.

"Senator Warner called his office this morning around 11:30 a.m. to say he is doing very well," his office said in a written statement. "He advised his staff that he passed this morning's procedure 'with flying colors' and that 'no one is to go home early, as we all have work to do.'"

In non-surgical ablation, a catheter is snaked from an artery in the groin into the heart. Then, a machine directs laser or microwave energy into the heart muscle producing the abnormal rhythm, causing it to scar and disrupting the abnormal rhythm's electrical pathway.

The procedure was carried out at Inova Fairfax Hospital in suburban Washington, where the 80-year-old's heart rate and rhythm were normal, the statement said.

The ablation was carried out a day after Warner underwent electrical cardioversion, another non-surgical procedure, to treat an ineffective beating of the heart called atrial fibrillation. In the disorder, the heart's two upper chambers quiver instead of beating in a way that moves blood effectively through the body.

"That procedure was also a complete success," the statement said.

"A bag full of worms" is the way one doctor described the beating of a heart in atrial fibrillation. The condition may result in the pooling of blood and the formation of clots in the atria. If they were to break loose, they could lodge in the brain, causing a stroke.

Cardioversion shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm.

About 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association.

The ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was to remain hospitalized overnight for observation and was expected to return home over the weekend and resume working next week in the Senate.

Warner said last month he would not seek re-election in 2008.

Filed under: John Warner
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Reggie , Anaheim, Ca.

    We wish the Senator/Veteran to heal Godspeed! Then after rehab he can be an positive influence on the king (bush) of America. In a weird way the Healthcare that the Senator was given, needs to be given to "all" Americans in the long run! Healthy Americans, Strong Americans mind & body! A.k.a National Security!

    October 3, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Frank Honolulu HI

    Good luck to the Senator. There are no politics in personal health issues.

    October 3, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    how old are some of thesepeople? he looks 90. why can't anyone in power put term limits in place?

    October 3, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Danni, Dallas, TX

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Senator.

    October 3, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Amethyst, Las vegas, Nevada

    Off topic, but the only caption I can think of for this photo is "braaaains"

    October 4, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |