Monday, December 26, 2005

Sharon to undergo heart surgery

Watch Bibi and Co. have a field day with this.

From Reuters:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will undergo an operation to close a tiny hole in his heart which is believed to be the reason for his mild stroke last week, his doctors said on Monday.

Sharon, 77, has already returned to work after the December 18 health scare, but the stroke has raised questions over the bulky ex-general's physical fitness to lead as he campaigns for re-election for a third term.

Doctors suspect a blood clot resulting from the 2 mm hole in the heart, a common birth defect, caused the stroke.

A tiny tube will be inserted to the heart via a blood vessel in a routine procedure known as Cardiac Catheterization that takes about 30 minutes. Sharon will not need to be readmitted to hospital. It should be carried out in two to three weeks.

"This will be done to prevent future blood clots," said Tamir Ben-Hur of the Hadassah hospital.
After that, the risk of a further stroke should have been removed. Strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain.

Addressing a news conference on Sharon's health, doctors said that his blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal, though he has an underactive thyroid gland -- common in the overweight.

Doctors said that Sharon weighed 115 kg (254 lb.), down from 118 kg before the stroke. He has long been advised to lose weight by cutting down on fatty foods.