Former President George W. Bush Recovering After Heart Surgery

President received a stent for a blocked artery found during his annual physical.
3:01 | 08/06/13

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Transcript for Former President George W. Bush Recovering After Heart Surgery
surprising news about the health of former president george w. Bush. He had a heart scare, all of us wondering how a man so famously fit discovered that risk and what can everyone learn from his experience? Abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl has more on the former president. Reporter: Whether it's mountain biking in texas or playing golf with wounded warriors, george w. Bush at 67 seems to be as active and physically fit in retirement as he was during his white house days. But a routine physical yesterday found a blockage in a crucial artery that supplies the heart with blood. So this morning his doctors inserted a stent to prop open the artery so the blood can get through. Bush has no history of heart trouble and his spokesman says prior to yesterday's physical he had absolutely no systems indicating a problem. In fact, he had just gone mountain biking over the weekend and less than three months ago did his annual 100 kilometer wide paying tribute to wounded warriors. Here's the thing about life. You're going to get dealt a hand you don't want to play. The question is how do you play the hand. Reporter: George w. Bush consently had tell you lar health reports. Here he is the year he was elected and here shortly before leaving office. In retirement though he seems to lead a remarkably stress free life. As he told diane earlier this year devoting lots of time to painting. I love to paint. Painting has changed my life in a positive way. Reporter: We caught up with him last month in africa where he spent hours painting a women's clinic in zambia and later did some dancing. What is it about this continent that makes presidents get up and dance. In this case I was joyful, and I got carried away by the spirit. The spokesman says the procedure went beautifully and he is expected to be released tomorrow. We bring in abc's medical editor dr. Richard besser. Exactly what does a stent do and what does it not do? This tiny little thing here is a stent. What it does do, if you have systems it can relieve those. What it doesn't do, if you don't have heart systems, it doesn't prevent a heart attack. It does not prevent a heart attack? We think of it as opening it up so the plaque doesn't cause a heart attack but that's wrong. If you don't have systems it didn't doesn't do anything for you. If you have shortness of breath or fatigue going upstairs, that's when you need to ask about getting a stress test to see if your arteries might be blocked. We'll be following the former president tomorrow hoping he's home. Thank you again.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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