Arnold Schwarzenegger is in stable condition after undergoing heart surgery to replace an aortic catheter valve.
Schwarzenegger, 70, got the procedure done at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 29. The procedure was “to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997,” according to a statement by his rep (see below).
“That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent and has outlived its life expectancy, so he chose to replace it through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement. During that procedure, an open-heart surgery team was prepared… in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed.”
The former California governor and father of five is resting in stable condition.
First Heart Surgery In 1997
This is not the first time Arnold has had heart surgery. In 1997, he underwent elective surgery in Mexico to replace an aortic valve. Schwarzenegger said he went under the knife to take preventive measures for a congenital heart condition.
“I’ve never felt sick or had any symptoms at all, but I knew I’d have to take care of this condition sooner or later,” the seven-time former Mister Olympia revealed in a statement at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I said to the doctors, ‘Let’s do it now, while I’m young and healthy.’ They agreed this was the way to go.”
At the time, Schwarzenegger — who rose to fame as a world-champion bodybuilder — denied speculation that his heart condition was brought on by steroid use.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose bodybuilding nickname was the “Austrian Oak,” admitted using steroids, as it was not banned in competition back then.
“Steroids have nothing to do with this,” Arnold’s rep said. “This is a congenital condition that’s existed in his family.”
After becoming one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood for more than a decade, Schwarzenegger pivoted to politics, where the Republican served as governor of California from 2003 to 2011. In 1990, Arnold was named chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by then-president George H.W. Bush.
Schwarzenegger married NBC News reporter Maria Shriver, the niece of former president John F. Kennedy Jr., in 1986. Shriver filed for divorce in 2011 amid revelations that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son with their housekeeper. The couple finalized their divorce in 2017.
In 1997, Arnold Schwarzenegger was immortalized in the hit documentary Pumping Iron, which chronicled his bodybuilding success and catapulted him into a Hollywood film sensation.
Arnold’s legions of fans wished him well on social media, sharing hilarious Twitter tributes.
Like The Terminator, “he’ll be back,” they promised.
Thoughts and prayers go out to Arnold Schwarzenegger who just underwent an emergency heart surgery. He is said to be in a stable condition at this moment. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/OsZApk7F6l— Josef Rakich (@ImJosefRakich) March 30, 2018
Arnold Schwarzenegger has had major open heart surgery and is in a stable condition. Don't worry, he'll be back— KING ERIC ♿️ (@KickAssCantona) March 30, 2018
Arnold Schwarzenegger will be alright.— Cameron Grant (@coolghost101) March 30, 2018
*Gods Plan starts playing* pic.twitter.com/OA3tfF5Sn3
When I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger was in stable condition. pic.twitter.com/d3teFPYmOT— Cameron Grant (@coolcam101) March 30, 2018