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Gerald Ford discharged from hospital after heart procedures

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ROCHESTER, Minnesota (CNN) -- Former President Gerald Ford was discharged from the Mayo Clinic on Monday after undergoing heart procedures, according to a statement released by the clinic.

Ford had an angioplasty procedure Thursday to reduce or eliminate blockages in his coronary arteries.

The statement said the former president had returned to his home in Rancho Mirage, California.

Ford, 93, received a cardiac pacemaker last Monday at the clinic. The nation's 38th president was admitted to the clinic 10 days ago for "testing and evaluation."

Angioplasty involves inserting a catheter-guided balloon to expand blocked arteries.

"During the procedure, stents were placed in two of his coronary arteries in order to increase the blood flow through those arteries," according to a written statement released by Ford's office.

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty. The procedure is often performed on elderly patients and recovery is usually routine.

Ford, who has been in frail health in recent years, has been hospitalized four times since December, including late last month, when he was admitted for two days to a hospital in Vail, Colorado, after complaining of shortness of breath.

In January, he spent 11 days in a hospital near his home in Rancho Mirage being treated for pneumonia. In December, he was admitted to the same hospital for unspecified tests.

Ford was hospitalized in 2003 after suffering a dizzy spell while playing golf in 96-degree heat. He also suffered a mild stroke during the 2000 Republican National Convention.

Ford is the only president to have held office without being elected by the voters to the presidency or vice presidency.

He became then-President Richard Nixon's vice president in October 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned and pleaded no contest to bribery, conspiracy and extortion.

Ford assumed the presidency in August 1974, after the Watergate scandal forced Nixon from office. He then pardoned Nixon. Ford narrowly lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.


Former President Gerald Ford

Former President Gerald Ford had an angioplasty procedure to reduce or eliminate blockages in his coronary arteries.

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