Former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent heart surgery last week to implant a mechanical pump and is recuperating, according to a statement issued to Reuters.Cheney has a long history of heart disease, most recently his fifth heart attack in February. He had his first attack at age 37.A few weeks ago, it became clear that I was entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure, Cheney said in the statement. After a series of recent tests and discussions with my doctors, I decided to take advantage of one of the new technologies available.The device is the Left Ventricular Assist Device, a battery-operated, mechanical pump implanted into the upper abdomen. It helps maintain the pumping ability of a heart that cant effectively work on its own, according to the American Heart Association.The association calls the device a bridge to transplant, because patients awaiting a heart transplant often have one implanted. It can help a weak heart and buy time for the patient, according to the associations website.Cheneys statement did not say whether he needs a transplant, but he said the pump will improve his heart function and will enable me to resume an active life.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.