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Schwarzenegger heads home after heart surgery


April 23, 1997
Web posted at: 8:03 a.m. EDT (1203 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was back home Tuesday six days after undergoing successful heart surgery for a faulty valve.

The bodybuilder-turned-actor, 49, opted to have a congenitally defective aortic valve replaced April 16 even though it wasn't causing him any problems. The actor said he was relieved to be able to put this condition behind him.

"Choosing to undergo open-heart surgery when I never felt sick was the hardest decision I've ever made," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I can now look forward to a long, healthy life with my family."

In the statement, released Tuesday, Dr. Vaughn Starnes, who led a team of three surgeons during Schwarzenegger's surgery, said the action hero's heart is "strong and healthy."

"He will resume his full, active lifestyle with no limitations, restrictions or medications at all," Starnes stated. "I want to reassure his fans that he is stronger than ever and he'll be back at work this summer."

Schwarzenegger plans to rest until the end of May when he will begin promoting "Batman and Robin." The action hero plays the villainous "Mr. Freeze" in the latest incarnation of Batman movies.


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