Doctors removed a blockage from Sen. Ted Kennedy's left carotid artery Friday.
BOSTON (CNN) – Doctors removed a blockage from Sen. Ted Kennedy's left carotid artery Friday, and the senator was said to be "fine."
Kennedy's office said the blockage was discovered "as part of a routine evaluation of Senator Kennedy's back and spine."
"MRI studies picked up an unrelated, asymptomatic blockage in the senator's left carotid artery," the office said in a written statement. "This morning, Senator Kennedy underwent preventive surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to remove the blockage.
"The surgery, which was performed by Doctor Richard Cambria, was routine and successful. After a very brief recovery period, Senator Kennedy will resume his normal schedule in Washington and in Massachusetts."
Kennedy's doctors said they performed a carotid endarterectomy, which involves making a cut in the neck and pulling plaque out of the artery.
Cambria told reporters the surgery was routine and uneventful. He said Kennedy, 75, was resting comfortably and was drinking ginger ale, eating ice cream and looking forward to watching the Red Sox on television Friday night. The senator is expected to make a full recovery.
Typically, Cambria said, blockages are surgically corrected only if the artery is at least 70 percent blocked, and Kennedy's blockage was in that range.
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