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Bill Clinton leaves hospital after surgery

February 12, 2010

Former US president Bill Clinton left hospital Friday after doctors successfully cleared up a clogged artery following his hospitalization for chest pains.

The 63-year-old Clinton's motorcade could be seen leaving New York Presbyterian Hospital, and an aide said he was in "excellent health."

"He's out of the hospital and in the car back enroute to his home" in Chappaqua, New York, Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe told "The Early Show" on CBS television.

McAuliffe, who co-chaired Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, said the former president participated in a conference call on earthquake relief to Haiti just as he was being wheeled into the operating room.

"He would have kept the phone on Haiti and talked through the procedure if he could," McAuliffe said. "He's going to try and get as much in as he can."

Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery to free four blocked arteries in 2004, had been complaining of chest "discomfort," his cardiologist Allan Schwartz told reporters, so doctors inserted two stents to free up a coronary artery on Thursday.

"He warmly thanks the doctors, nurses and staff of the hospital for the care he received... President Clinton would also like to thank the many people who extended their best wishes to him for a quick recovery," Clinton counselor Douglas Band said in a statement.

"He looks forward in the days ahead to getting back to the work of his foundation, and to Haiti relief and recovery efforts."

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