Clinton undergoes successful heart surgery

NEW YORK: Bill Clinton was expected to make a full recovery after heart surgery on Thursday, his doctor said, stressing that the former US president had not had a heart attack.

“The procedure went very smoothly,” his doctor Allan Schwartz

told a news conference in New York outside the hospital where Clinton was being treated. “His prognosis is excellent.” Schwartz said that Clinton “did not have a heart attack or any damage to his heart.”

Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery to free four blocked arteries in 2004, had been complaining of chest pain, so on Thursday doctors inserted two stents to free up a coronary artery.

Schwartz said Clinton could be “back in the office on Monday” and could “resume his very active lifestyle.” The Democratic former president, 63, was already with his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea, the doctor said. It was possible he would be released from hospital Friday, Schwartz said. Since leaving office in 2001, after two terms, Clinton has maintained a hectic lifestyle, most recently as a coordinator for aid to victims of Haiti’s earthquake. However, the complication treated on Thursday was “not a result of his lifestyle or his diet, both of which have been excellent,” Schwartz said.

Hillary Clinton rushed from Washington to the Columbia Campus

of New York Presbyterian Hospital

to be with him. The State Department said she had delayed her departure on a planned trip to the Gulf by one day, to Saturday.

President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, telephoned Clinton to wish him a speedy recovery

and was told by the ex-president that he felt “absolutely great,” a White House official said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked Clinton for his work in Haiti.