January 25, 2011 / 7:13 PM / 8 years ago

Rocker Bret Michaels has surgery to repair heart

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels had successful surgery at a Phoenix hospital to repair a hole in his heart, a hospital spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Bret Michaels, rock and roll singer and Celebrity Apprentice TV show personality, reacts after singing the national anthem before the start of the Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Homestead, Florida November 21, 2010. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Michaels, frontman for the band Poison, was recovering from the Monday surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s intensive care unit, spokeswoman Carmelle Malkovich told Reuters.

She declined to release any additional information.

The heart problem was found in April, when hospital surgeons operated on Michaels for a near fatal brain hemorrhage. Without treatment for the hole in his heart, doctors said he risked blood clots and strokes.

To repair the heart problem, doctors inserted a catheter into his groin, and, aided by cameras, guided a device into the heart to close the hole. It will remain in his body permanently.

Hospital officials said the device is designed to stop the abnormal blood flow between the two chambers of the heart - a situation thought to have caused Michaels to have an earlier stroke.

The 47-year-old musician, known for his long blond hair and colorful bandannas, has reinvented himself in recent years with the help of reality TV.

He made his mark with the glam rock band Poison, whose hits included the ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

He has since appeared in VH1’s “Rock of Love” reality show and won last season’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” an NBC reality program.

Michaels still plans a concert tour in the spring and a cruise in the fall, publicist Joann Mignano told Reuters in an email.

Reporting by David Schwartz, editing by Dan Whitcomb

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