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George W. Bush undergoes surgery for blocked artery

(AP)

Former president George W. Bush underwent surgery Tuesday morning to address an arterial blockage in his heart that was discovered at his annual physical on Monday, his office said.

A stent was successfully inserted to open the blockage, and Bush, 67, was reported to be recovering in good condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

"President Bush is in high spirits, eager to return home tomorrow and resume his normal schedule on Thursday," a statement from his office in Dallas said.  "He is grateful to the skilled medical professionals who have cared for him.  He thanks his family, friends, and fellow citizens for their prayers and well wishes. And he encourages us all to get our regular check-ups."

Bush dealt with some health issues while in office in the 2000s, including having noncancerous skin lesions removed from his face in 2001. He also famously hit his head after choking on a pretzel in 2002.

More recently, Bush's father, former president George H.W. Bush, 89, has been dealing with various health problems. He was released from a lengthy hospital stay in January after experiencing severe bronchitis-like symptoms.

The younger Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, 72, has also dealt with myriad heart issues and last year had a heart transplant.

Shortly after the news broke, political figures tweeted their support for Bush.


Updated at 10:16 a.m.

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