NEW YORK — Former President Bill Clinton, who had quadruple bypass surgery more than five years ago, was hospitalized Thursday to have a clogged heart artery opened after suffering chest pains.
Two stents resembling tiny mesh scaffolds were placed inside the artery as part of a medical procedure that is common for people with severe heart disease.
The 63-year-old Clinton was "in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," said an adviser, Douglas Band.
Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee chairman and a close friend of the Clintons, said Clinton participated in a conference call on earthquake relief for Haiti as he was being wheeled into an operating room.
He expected Clinton to be released from the hospital today.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled from Washington to New York to be with her husband, who underwent the procedure at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the same place where his bypass surgery was done in September 2004.
At that time, four of his arteries were blocked, some almost completely, and he was in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an angioplasty, the procedure Clinton had on Thursday, doctors thread a tube through a blood vessel in the groin to a blocked artery and inflate a balloon to flatten the clog. Often, one or more stents are used to prop the artery open.
The need for another artery-opening procedure will not affect Clinton's long-term prognosis, said Dr. William O'Neill, a cardiologist and executive dean of clinical affairs at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.
"It doesn't really affect long-term survival. It's a quality-of-life thing. He'll have to have careful monitoring, regular stress tests."
McAuliffe said Clinton went to see his cardiologist after experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. After that, his Secret Service motorcade took him to the hospital, where he walked in on his own.