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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

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Cheney's Abnormal Heart Rhythm Treated

Outpatient Procedure "Went Smoothly" and Had No Complications, Cheney Spokesperson Says
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 15, 2008 -- Vice President Dick Cheney underwent an outpatient procedure today to treat a recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.

The procedure "went smoothly and without complication," according to a statement issued by Megan Mitchell, Cheney's press secretary.

Cheney's atrial fibrillation recurrence, which was diagnosed this morning, was treated this afternoon at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., according to Mitchell. The treatment involved delivering an electrical impulse to restore Cheney's heart to normal rhythm. Afterward, Cheney went home and resumed his normal schedule.

Cheney, 67, has a history of heart problems, including four heart attacks, quadruple bypass heart surgery, and two procedures to clear clogged arteries (angioplasty). He also has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a tiny implant that can shock an abnormal heart rhythm back to normal.

In November 2007, Cheney was treated for atrial fibrillation. In March 2007, Cheney was treated with blood thinners for several months to treat a blood clot in his left leg. In January 2006, Cheney was briefly treated for shortness of breath.

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