Arnold Schwarzenegger undergoes open heart surgery, rep confirms

Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is recovering after getting a valve replaced in his heart.

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TMZ, citing unnamed sources, reported that the 70-year-old actor went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Thursday for a catheter valve replacement, but emergency open-heart surgery was needed.

The celebrity gossip site reported that the surgery lasted several hours.

Related: PHOTOS: Arnold Schwarzenegger through the years

In 1997, Schwarzenegger underwent surgery to replace faulty valve in his heart. People reported that in 2001 he broke six ribs in a motorcycle crash and had to go into surgery after.

On Friday, Schwarzenegger's spokesman, Daniel Ketchell, issued a statement in response to the reports. He confirmed that Schwarzenegger had a procedure at the Los Angeles hospital, but he did not say the open-heart surgery was performed.

“Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997,” Kitchell said. “That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent, and has outlived its life expectancy, so he chose to replace it yesterday though a less-invasive catheter valve replacement. During that procedure, an open-heart surgery team was prepared, as the 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 and is in stable condition. We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts.”

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