Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that after undergoing emergency surgery, he’s “good” but “not great yet.”
Schwarzenegger underwent a scheduled heart procedure on March 29. A pulmonic valve that was originally installed in 1997 for a congenital heart defect was replaced. He was released from Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on April 6, The Associated Press reported.
The “Terminator” actor and former California governor added: “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’m good. I feel good. I get good care, good doctors, good nurses. Everything is fantastic.”
“I’m here at a chessboard playing a little bit of chess here to freshen my mind and my memory a little bit,” he said in the video. “And we move forward. So I will stay in touch with all of you. And thank you all for being such jewels.”
A few days after his surgery, he wrote: “I’m back.”
“I went to sleep expecting to wake up with a small incision and woke up with a big one – but guess what? I woke up, and that’s something to be thankful for,” he wrote. “Thank you to the doctors & nurses. And I’m truly filled with gratitude for all of the kind messages.”
“Schwarzenegger underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997,” a spokesperson for the star said in a statement in March following reports of the surgery, Fox reported.
“That 1997 replacement valve was never meant to be permanent, and has 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 these 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 is in stable condition.”
Schwarzenegger went under the knife to replace his aortic valve more than 20 years ago. “I’ve never felt sick or had any symptoms at all, but I knew I’d have to take care of this condition sooner or later,” he said in a statement, reported the Los Angeles Times at the time. “I said to the doctors, ‘Let’s do it now, while I’m young and healthy.’ They agreed this was the way to go.”
During an interview in 2012, on “60 Minutes,” he said that his doctor told him that he was “crazy” to keep the 1997 operation a secret from his wife.
“He said, ‘Your wife is pregnant, what do you mean you are not going to tell her?’” he said, E! News reported at the time. “I told him, ‘Here is the plan, I am going to have the heart surgery, you do it quietly, no one knows about it, we do it at six in the morning. Four days later I am out of here and I go to Mexico and I will tell Maria I am down here, a little busy and I am on vacation, when I come back I’ll be tanned and no one will know.’”