Kennedy Surgery "Successful"
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) will miss about a week of work as he recuperates in Boston from today's "routine" and "preventative" surgery to unblock an artery in his neck, doctors and aides said this afternoon.
The surgery, performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, came after a routine checkup performed earlier this week on his back, something that's been of medical concern ever since a 1964 plane crash the senator survived.
"The surgery was routine, uneventful and successful," Dr. Richard Cambria, the hospital's chief of vascular surgery, told reporters in a conference call this afternoon.
Kennedy, 75, who recently cast his 15,000th vote on the Senate floor, is the third longest serving senator in history.
To emphasize how normal and fine the senator was feeling, Cambria and other doctors and aides on the call informed reporters about a host of Kennedy details:
â€¢ he was eating ice cream and drinking ginger ale today after lunch;
â€¢ he swims every day;
â€¢ home this week for a week-long Senate recess, he went sailing yesterday;
â€¢ He plans to watch the entire Game 1 of the American League Championship Series tonight between the Cleveland Indians and his beloved Boston Red Sox. (Kennedy's office co-ed softball team wears mock Red Sox uniforms except the team name is "Ted Sox.")
Still, in a chamber so narrowly divided, any senator's health can be a topic of major concern. In Kennedy's case, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick would appoint a successor should his health deteriorate, causing him to step down. Kennedy just won re-election last year to his 8th full term, having won the seat in 1962 to fill out the remainder of his brother's term after John Kennedy became president. A Kennedy departure would mark the first open Senate race since 1984.
While doctors said the blocked artery was a common health problem, they said the surgery was performed because it was at least 70 percent blocked, declining to specify precisely the percentage. "This was a very high-grade blockage," Cambria said.
A small incision was made in Kennedy's neck, removing the blockage. And doctors acknowledged that they regularly monitor Kennedy's blood pressure and cholesterol levels, pushing him to continue his recent weight loss. "He has to watch his waistline, like the rest of us," said Dr. Larry Ronan, who added, "His overall health is excellent."
Doctors, who declined repeated requests from the Boston media to delve into specific details about other health issues, said they would not have performed the surgery if he had other heart issues that made him a high-risk patient for complications during surgery.
One thing they said could not prevent: him watching the Red Sox, no matter how stressful the series gets. "That's one of the recommendations that is unlikely to be made," Cambria said, "because of the unlikelihood it will be followed."
October 12, 2007; 4:21 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Cheney, House Republicans on Different Money Paths
Next: Pelosi Hands Out Cash to Favorite House Candidates
Posted by: Justin | October 12, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PK | October 12, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Washington Dame | October 12, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: yojoe | October 14, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: BJE500 | October 14, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rg | October 15, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Donald W. Bales | October 15, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AM | October 15, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MNRiley | October 15, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Starbuck | October 16, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Gyro Tyro | October 17, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mascmen7 | October 25, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.