Cheney Recuperating From Heart Surgery

"Former Vice President Dick Cheney disclosed Wednesday that he has undergone surgery to install a small pump to help his heart work, as the 69-year-old enters a new phase of what he called ""increasing congestive heart failure."" ""The operation went very well and I am now recuperating,"" a still-hospitalized Cheney said in a statement. The kind of heart pump that Cheney received can be implanted next to the heart to help its main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, pump blood through the body. Such devices are used mainly for short periods, to buy potential transplant candidates time as they await a donor organ. But they are being studied for use as a permanent therapy for people with severe heart failure who aren't transplant candidates. The surgery took place last week at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in Washington's Northern Virginia suburbs, where Cheney was receiving care Wednesday. A longtime face of the Republican Party, Cheney has dealt with heart problems much of his adult life, suffering five heart attacks since age 37. He said the latest step, the implanting of a pump called a left ventricular assist device, will allow him to resume an active life."