Arnold Schwarzenegger in stable condition after heart surgery at Los Angeles hospital

LOS ANGELES -- Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was recovering Friday morning after undergoing heart surgery at a Los Angeles hospital, a spokesman for the box-office legend said.

The planned procedure took place Thursday at Cedars-Sinai, where a pulmonic valve was successfully replaced, according to the spokesman, Daniel Ketchell. The original valve was replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997.

The 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," Ketchell said in a statement, adding that the 70-year-old Schwarzenegger was in stable condition.

An open-heart surgery team was standing by in case the catheter procedure could not be performed, the statement said.

"We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts," Ketchell said. "His first words were actually 'I'm back,' so he is in good spirits."
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