Dallas, Texas - The American Heart Association is sending actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger best wishes, following media reports that he has undergone emergency open-heart surgery due to complications from another procedure.
Schwarzenegger, 70, who first grew to fame as a body builder, was reported have had a catheter valve replacement on Thursday.
Schwarzenegger has shared that he was born with a congenital heart defect, called a bicuspid aortic valve. In the late 1990s, sources indicate he had a valve transplant made from his own tissue, rather than a mechanical valve. In the past, he has also told fans and followers about his family history of heart ailments.
According to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the goal of heart valve surgery is to cure the problem or lengthen life by restoring the function of the heart valves, whether they are diseased or damaged.
When possible, it's generally best to repair a valve and preserve a person’s own tissue in the heart. However, when the tissue is too damaged, a replacement valve may be used from another human heart, an animal or a manufactured mechanical valve.