Former President Bill Clinton hospitalized

Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 5:55pm

NEW YORK CITY - Bill Clinton underwent heart surgery at a New York City hospital Thursday to get two stents implanted after he felt "discomfort in his chest," a representative for the former president said.

Bill Clinton underwent heart surgery at a New York City hospital Thursday to get two stents implanted after he felt "discomfort in his chest," a representative for the former president said.

The former president is in "good spirits" after the operation at the Columbia campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Clinton laywer Douglas Band said in a written statement. Clinton underwent the procedure to place the stents in one of his coronary arteries following a visit to his cardiologist, Band said.

"President Clinton ... will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," he said.

Clinton went through quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 to free four blocked arteries. Sources told Fox News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left Washington to be with her husband in New York City.

The former president is leading fundraising efforts for the Haiti earthquake recovery effort alongside former President George W. Bush and recently traveled to the country. A Democratic source close to the family told Fox News the former president had been feeling ill after returning and complaining of chest pains for "days."

Dr. Steven Garner of New York Methodist Hospital told Fox News the "stress" of the president's recent trips to Haiti could have triggered a heart problem.

"This is something that I believe was there just waiting to cause a problem," he said.

It's unclear whether the surgery will affect Hillary Clinton's travel plans. She was scheduled to leave for a trip to the Middle East on Friday.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment.

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