By Frank James
Update at 5:57 pm ET -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her way to be with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as he recovers from having coronary angioplasty surgery at a New York hospital after he experienced chest pains.
The Associated Press reports:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left Washington and headed to New York to be with her husband, who underwent the procedure at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Stents are tiny mesh scaffolds used to prop open an artery after it is unclogged in an angioplasty procedure. Doctors thread a tube through a blood vessel in the groin to a blocked artery, inflate a balloon to flatten the clog, and slide the stent into place.
That is a different treatment from what Clinton had in 2004, when clogged arteries first landed him in the hospital. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery because of four blocked arteries, some of which had squeezed almost completely shut.
Angioplasty, which usually includes placing stents, is one of the most common medical procedures done worldwide. More than half a million stents are placed each year in the United States.
With bypass or angioplasty, patients often need another procedure years down the road because arteries often reclog.
"It's not unexpected" for Clinton to need another procedure now, said Dr. Clyde Yancy, cardiologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and president of the American Heart Association.
The sections of arteries and veins used to create detours around the original blockages tend to develop clogs five to 10 years after a bypass, he explained. New blockages also can develop in new areas.
"This kind of disease is progressive. It's not a one-time event, so it really points out the need for constant surveillance" and treating risk factors such as high cholesterol and high bloodpressure, he said.
Update at 5:00 pm ET -- A statement from Douglas Band, counselor to former President Bill Clinton who was hospitalized in New York City after experiencing chest pains today:
"Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest. Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts. In 2004, President Clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries."
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Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in New York City, ABC News is reporting. NPR is working on confirming this information and expanding it. We'll add more as soon as we know it.
Clinton, 63, has a history of heart trouble. He had heart-bypass surgery in September 2004.
categories: National News