By Zeb Eckert
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
March 5, 2001
Vice President Richard Cheney voluntarily checked into George Washington University hospital Monday for his second heart procedure in five months, the White House said Monday afternoon.
Hours after reportedly talking with President George Bush about his heart condition, Cheney, 60, went to the downtown Washington hospital where doctors performed what his office called a “repeat cardiac catheterization.”
A catheterization is performed to measure blood pressure and other information about the heart’s ability to pump blood. The doctor guides a thin plastic tube or catheter through an artery or vein in the arm or leg and into the heart’s coronary arteries.
Cheney’s last cardiac catheterization occurred last November when he suffered his fourth heart attack. After his third heart attack in 1998, Cheney underwent quadruple bypass surgery.
Last fall, Cheney had a stent — a spring-like device — implanted in his artery to hold the passageway open. Doctors speculated Monday that scarring triggered by the stent might have caused the vice president’s artery to narrow or close off over the weekend.
Reporters asked President Bush about Cheney’s hospitalization at an afternoon White House event. Bush said Cheney was taking “precautionary measures.”