Arnold “The Austrian Oak” Schwarzenegger is “back” from a planned heart surgery that took place as scheduled at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 29, 2018. Contrary to initial reports that described the procedure as an “emergency heart surgery”, the operation was planned well in advance by Schwarzenegger and his doctors. And contrary to water cooler gossip, Schwarzenegger’s heart problems had nothing do with with his use of anabolic steroids.
Daniel Ketchell, the Chief of Staff for Schwarzenegger’s production company Oak Produtions, reported that Schwarzenegger’s surgery was a success. After Schwarzenegger was in stable condition following the surgery. His first words following his awakening from surgery were “I’m back”.
— Daniel Ketchell (@ketch) March 30, 2018
Ketchell was quick to dispel the rumors regarding the emergency nature of Schwarzenegger’s medical procedure. While all heart surgeries is serious, Schwarzenegger’s surgery was a sort of maintenance surgery. The operation was carefully planned to “replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997”.
“That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent,” according to Ketchell’s statement, “and outlived its life expectancy, so he chose to replace it yesterday through a less invasive catheter valve replacement. During that procedure, an open-heart surgery team was prepared, as they frequently are in such circumstances, in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed. Governor Schwarzenegger’s pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and he is currently recovering from the surgery and in stable condition.”
— Daniel Ketchell (@ketch) March 30, 2018
Doctors attempted to use a less-invasive experimental procedure called cardiac transcatheter replacement in order to replace his old mechnical pulmonary valve with a brand new one. The catheter replacement would have hastened Schwarzenegger’s recovery.
The less-invasive procedure would have involved using a balloon to guide the replacement valve to the heart via a catheter inserted in the groin. However, surgeons were on site and prepared to use traditional open-heart surgery techniques if necessary. The traditional techniques involve the opening of the chest bone (sternotomy).
Many people have been quick to blame anabolic steroids for Schwarzenegger’s heart problem’s. After all, Schwarzenegger was an admitted steroid user who utilized the muscle-building drugs for several years while he was a professional bodybuilder. Schwarzenegger’s maintained his physique for several years after he traded in his posing trunks on his way to become a leading Hollywood action star appearing in movies such as “Conan the Barbarian” and the “Terminator” franchise.
The truth is that steroids had nothing to do with Schwarzenegger’s heart problems. The bodybuilder turned actor turned Governor of California was born with a congenital heart defect known as pulmonary valve disease. Most afflicted individuals are asymptomatic when they are younger only to encounter problems as they get older.
Schwarzenegger has known about his pulmonary heart disease for several decades. In 1998, he chose to have the pulmonary valve replace as a preventative measure to avoid future health problems. Twenty years later, Schwarzenegger chose to take matters into his own hands and replace the mechanical valve before it caused any future health problems.
UPDATE: April 6, 2018:
Schwarzenegger was released from the hospital a week later on April 6, 2018.
He was released just before I sent that update and he is currently recovering at home in fantastic spirits.
— Daniel Ketchell (@ketch) April 6, 2018
UPDATE: April 12, 2018:
Scharzenegger is covering at home and doing well.
“I just want you to know that I’m feeling much better. I can’t say, even with my positive attitude, that I’m great because I’m not great yet. Great is a totally different level but I am good. I feel good. I get good care. Good doctors. Good nurses. Everything is fantastic.”
Thank you all for caring. We are moving forward! pic.twitter.com/kvauldg3Mq
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) April 12, 2018