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Heart surgery was 'miraculous': Clinton

February 13, 2010

Former president Bill Clinton on Friday described surgery to open a blocked artery as "miraculous" and said he had been awake during the procedure.

"It's miraculous with the stents," he told reporters, referring to the devices used to clear a clogged artery during the operation Thursday.

Clinton was speaking in his first live public comments since entering hospital in New York. He was released from hospital earlier Friday.

"I didn't (take) any sedatives or anything, so I was alert. I wanted to watch it. I got to watch it on the monitor," he said.

Clinton, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery to free four blocked arteries in 2004, had been complaining of chest discomfort, leading doctors to decide on the operation.

"I didn't really notice it until about four days ago, then I felt just a bit of tingling, not pain, no grabbing in my chest. I thought I ought to check it out. It is a fairly typical thing," Clinton said.

He said doctors found that "the rest of my heart was exactly as it was five years ago, all my -- you know, the arteries and everything just as clear. So I actually am doing very well."

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