October 12th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Kennedy undergoes surgery for blockage

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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Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Matt - Atlanta, GA

    Best wishes Teddy!

    October 12, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. John, NY, NY

    For GOD SAKES, he is undergoing surgery, and some horrible people on this post, whether republican or democrat, are upbraiding him. This is not politics, start acting human.

    October 12, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Wood Wiz L V Red & Wh*te

    Wr*nkel Head!

    October 12, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Ted Kennedy's sister, Rosemary, was considered severely brain-damaged and had a lobotomy, which was an approved, popular procedure at the time. His sister, Kathleen, died at 28 in a plane crash. His brother, Joseph, died at 29 in combat in World War II. His brother, John, was assassinated at age 46. His brother, Robert, was assassinated at age 43. His nephew, David, who had seen his own father be assassinated, died of a drug overdose at age 29. His nephew, Michael, died in a skiing accident at age 39. His nephew, John, was killed in a plane crash at age 39.

    It makes me sick as a human being to see how many of you "family values"/"Moral Majority"/Christian/Bush supporters are unable to find any compassion and sympathy in your hollow hypocritical souls for a man who has had to endure a series of family tragedies that seems incomprehensible. Instead, you mental midgets ridicule him for having a drinking problem. Has even one of you "compassionate conservatives" considered that maybe his drinking problem is related to the hell this fellow human being has been through? How many of you hypocrites actually believe Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged”?

    Yes, he probably tried to cover up when his drunk driving caused Mary Jo Kopechne's death. His negligence caused a death just like Laura Bush was responsible for the death of her friend Michael Douglas. On a clear night, with a dry road, unobstructed vision, and a clearly seen stop sign, she ran through the intersection without stopping and hit his car killing him.

    Is there a single one of you who believes in being "fair and balanced"? Is there a single one of you with a heart?

    October 12, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. Joseph, Washington DC

    Wishing someone dead? Insulting the injured? These are classless statements. It is sad to witness the constant de-evolution of our culture into two separate tribes who have no purpose but disparage the other. I don’t know that the character of our nation was ever nobler than what we see today and perhaps we have always been a vengeful and hate filled lot. Perhaps it is just the internet giving a global voice to every person with a computer regardless of their social etiquette and decency. But I would like to think that the people of our country, the country I served in uniform, are better than wishing ill to an old man.
    There is civility and nobility in showing proper respect to all people, especially the ones with whom we disagree most. It helps if one is raised with such decency but it can also be learned later in life and we should all strive to that end.

    October 13, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  6. Someone in MA

    Kennedys are cursed flock, I am surprised he lived to be 70. I agree with most – he needs to retire or just simply disappear.

    October 13, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  7. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, SA, Australia

    I cannot lie, I wish he were not a Senator.

    But he is a human, created in God's image. For God's sake, for Senator Kennedy's sake, and for his family and friends sake I wish him a speedy recovery.


    October 13, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  8. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    For all of those who included the word 'murder'. It is now time to put up or shut up. There is no statute of limitations on murder. Since Mary Jo was a gov't employee a federal charge could be brought. So all of you right wing liars(oxymoron), why hasn't any Attorney General brought any charges? Could it be that you are more interested in lying than the facts?

    October 13, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  9. Bill LaRock

    May Olathe, Kansas just fade away along with the mentality that feeds the bigotry and hatred of its residents.

    October 13, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Jim, Portland, OR

    Thanks to all the "pro-life" Christian people out there who support right wing doctrine as if it were Biblical (it's not). Yes, thanks for your kind comments!! God Bless. Also, it looks more like vet bashing time..... Sen. Kennedy ENLISTED in the US Army. How many republican senators can say the same?

    October 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. john, stamford CT

    Finally the blood is flowing to his head!!. Maybe he will start thinking clearly

    October 13, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By laurinda,ny : October 12, 2007 6:42 pm

    Wrong as usual laura, linda, whatever.

    Sorry that some of you can't grasp the diffence between a real accident and an accident that involved alcohol, leaving the scene, sobering up, contacting your family and your lawyer and after all that NOT REPORTING IT UNTIL THE NEXT DAY.

    Bush was not drunk, did not flee and dealt with the situation, the liberal "Lyin" ran like a coward and that girl may have been saved and LIVED if he had stayed.

    "Jimmy" from Portland, I served three times as long as Teddy and spent more time overseas than Teddy, what is your point?

    I am the main basher here and I am NO Bush suppporter or bible thumper, so you morons can stick your "little neat characterization of non-bleeding heart liberals" you know where.

    October 13, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    To Tom Dedham, Mass

    Thank you for your mature comments. Kennedy killed someone because of his negligence. LAURA BUSH KILLED SOMEONE BECAUSE OF HER NEGLIGENCE. If you want to chase down rumors, why not check into the comment about Laura Bush in a book that quoted a relative as saying that she was "the person to go to if you wanted MARIJUANA". There is NO PROOF that anyone could have saved Mary Jo in spite of his cover-up. Now let's talk about rumors about a drug dealer.

    October 13, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. JB Boston MA

    The law sees a difference between the two. If you are drunk, and an "accident" occurs, it is no longer an accident. That's called 1st degree murder. He knew that and ran. Laura Bush did not. There was an investigation, and it was deemed an accident(no alcohol charges). Teddy escaped without providing that proof. If their was an immediate investigation of Teddy's "accident" he would still be in jail. Laura did not run from the scene.

    There is no comaparison.

    I do wish for a speedy recovery. Regardless of someones political views I would never wish them harm.

    Because I bring up facts does not mean I wish him harm, however, the fact is he killed someone and the law would have charged him as if it wasn't an accident. End of story.

    October 13, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Don Fitzgerald, Chicago

    I find your censorship to be self-serving. It's alright to call a U.S. Senator all sorts of despicable names, but when that person is called on, for such outrageous comments, in rather blunt terms, which I admit to doing, I get censored. I guess you are more interested in stirring things up, than promoting intelligent discussions. This will be my last post on your site, if this post is even allowed to see the light of day! Back in the USSR, that's where we are!!!

    October 13, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Tim St. Louis Mo

    Too bad Bush wasnt in that car with Teddy. He made a mistake, get over it. I bet 90% of the Republicans in here taking shots a great American family have gotten in their car drunk after a hitler youth meeting and drove home.

    October 13, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By Richard, West Palm Beach, FL : October 13, 2007 1:01 pm

    JB from MA puts it perfectly. No rumors, just the facts.

    Sorry you can distiguish between the two.

    I'll leave it at this, only Mary Jo and Teddy know the truth because HE AND HIS FAMILY COVERED IT UP, that's fine, I will sleep well knowing that someday, his actions will be taken into account.

    October 14, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    ted kennedy is wrong, carolines parents would be ashamed of her not to mention

    January 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. woody c whitfield

    ted your a traitor and you know where to stick your book

    January 28, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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