June 8, 2007 / 5:07 PM / in 12 years

Cheney to have heart defibrillator replaced

Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House, April 3, 2007. Cheney, a survivor of four heart attacks, will have his cardiac defibrillator replaced later this year, his office said on Friday after he had his annual physical checkup. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney, a survivor of four heart attacks, will have his internal heart-regulating device replaced later this year, his office said on Friday after he had his annual checkup.

“The ICD (implanted cardioverter defibrillator) battery has reached the level where elective replacement of the device is indicated over the summer,” his deputy press secretary Megan McGinn said in a statement.

“This will be scheduled at a time convenient for the vice president.”

She said the internal device was functioning properly and had not treated any abnormal heartbeats, also known as arrhythmia.

A test during Cheney’s physical, conducted at George Washington University, had not uncovered any new coronary blockage, McGinn said.

Cheney, 66, had his most recent heart attack shortly after the November 2000 election, although it was considered mild. He had the defibrillator implanted in his chest in 2001 to help regulate his heartbeat.

The vice president, one of President George W. Bush’s closest advisers, has had a series of health scares in recent years, including the discovery of a blood clot in his leg after a nine-day trip through Asia and the Middle East this year.

In January 2006, he was treated for shortness of breath believed to have been triggered by a reaction to medication for a foot ailment. He had surgery to treat abnormal blood vessels, or aneurysms, behind both knees in September 2005.

Cheney in the past has complained about the media attention focused on his health.

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