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Former First Lady Barbara Bush Undergoes Heart Surgery - Operation Comes After Shortness of Breath

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Former first lady Barbara Bush is recovering at The Methodist Hospital after successful open heart surgery Wednesday to replace her aortic valve, a family spokesman said Wednesday night.

The operation was scheduled last week, after Bush, 83, reported shortness of breath. Doctors diagnosed a hardening of the aorta, during which the valve narrows and obstructs blood flow.

“The surgery went extremely well,” said Dr. Gerald Lawrie, the surgeon who replaced Bush’s aortic value with a biologic valve during a 2 1/2-hour procedure. “I expect her to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities.”

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