Heart surgery

“I started to choke” – Arnold Schwarzenegger recalls frightening experience of botched heart surgery

Multifaceted Austrian American Arnold Schwarzenegger has done it all. He is a champion bodybuilder, model, actor, businessman, and politician. And he did it all with congenital heart disease.

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In an in-depth interview with Graham Bensinger in 2016, Schwarzenegger opened up about his failed heart surgery and his nightmarish experience at the time.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger had surgery in 1997

The former bodybuilder has a family history of heart issues. His mother underwent two valve replacements in the 1970s. During this time, he discovered that his great-grandmother had died of the same disease at the age of 67.

take care of your health, Schwarzenegger underwent regular medical examinations and discovered that he too had congenital heart disease, bicuspid aortic valve. In 1997, on the advice of his cardiologist, he underwent a Ross procedure. In this, the doctors removed his pulmonary valve and placed it in the aortic valve position.

NEW YORK – 1969: Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger (billed as Arnold Strong ‘Mr. Universe’) in a scene from the 1969 Trimark Pictures film ‘Hercules In New York’ in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The reason he didn’t opt ​​for a mechanical valve was because he felt his ability to exercise and restricted much of his physical activity. At first it went well. Incredibly, he rode a Lifecycle bike while still hooked up to all the machines soon after.

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However, the Terminator star detailed his frightening experience when the initial surgery failed and he had to go under the knife again.

Schwarzenegger talks about his frightening experience

“The pressure was too great [for the valve]and my body was too big and too strong,” He shared. “[The surgery] failed, and I started coughing and choking, and I had no air, and there was fluid in my lungs. The doctor came to see me at 3 am and told me: “The operation failed”.

The doctor told her they would have to do the operation again in two hours. lovethe unit of risk incurred had increased from 6% to 12%, but Schwarzenegger had no other choice.

“It was a crazy situation, but given the amount of drugs you’re taking at the time, you really don’t care,” Schwarzenegger continued. The atmosphere in the operating room was very different at 5 a.m. compared to his operation the day before.

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“It was serious, serious business. I could feel it even though I was high on drugs,” he added. Fortunately for him, the operation was successful and he was able to be released from the hospital without any problem. But the valves wear out and need to be replaced after a while.

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In March 2018, Schwarzenegger had his pulmonary valve replaced, then in 2020 he had to undergo another surgery for the replacement of his aortic valve.