Cheney walks slowly after being discharged from hospital for knee surgery
WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney walked slowly out of the hospital Sunday, one day after surgery to repair aneurysms on the back of both his knees.Cheney emerged from George Washington University Hospital in the late morning with his wife, Lynne, at his side. He shook hands with doctors and then walked to his motorcade without any assistance, although he moved slower than his normally brisk pace.Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was under local anesthesia during the six-hour surgery Saturday.His spokesman, Steve Schmidt, said the vice president planned to resume his regular schedule after being released.An aneurysm is a ballooning weak spot in an artery that can eventually can burst if left untreated. Cheney’s aneurysms, known as popliteal aneurysms, were discovered during his annual physical in July.Cheney had been scheduled to have only the right knee operated on Saturday but during the surgery his doctors decided to do both at once, Schmidt said. There were no complications.Cheney had flexible stent grafts put in his knee arteries. During the procedure, the stent graft is threaded through a catheter inserted in the femoral artery at the groin down to the aneurysm site. Fully opened, it’s like a little tube inside the artery, keeping the rushing blood from touching the weakened artery walls.This is a newer technique for patching aneurysms, and an alternative to rerouting blood flow around the weak spot with a vein bypass.Cheney, 64, has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest.—On the Net:White House: http://www.whitehouse.govVail, Colorado
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