Arnold Schwarzenegger recovering after emergency heart surgery

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Actor and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Friday after undergoing emergency open- heart surgery.

According to spokesman Daniel Ketchell, Schwarzenegger, 70, went to the hospital Thursday for a previously planned procedure ``to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997.''

"That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent, and has outlived its life expectancy, so he chose to replace it yesterday through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement,'' Ketchell said.

"During that procedure, an open-heart surgery team was prepared, as they frequently are in these circumstances, in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed.

"Governor Schwarzenegger's pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and he is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition,'' according to Ketchell. ``We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts.''

Schwarzenegger, a former champion bodybuilder and star of films including the ``Terminator'' franchise, ``Conan the Barbarian,'' ``Predator'' and ``True Lies,'' was California's 38th governor, serving from 2003-11.

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