According to Daniel Ketchell, the former California governor underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Thursday to replace a pulmonic valve that was first replaced in 1997 due to a congenital heart defect.
Although Schwarzenegger had chosen a less invasive method, an open-heart surgery team was prepared just in case.
"Governor's Schwarzenegger's pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and he is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition," Ketchell's statement read. "We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts."
"His first words were actually, 'I'm back,'" Ketchell added later.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the pulmonary valve is one of four valves that regulate blood flow to the heart, and if it malfunctions, it can force the heart to work harder than usual to supply the body with blood. Schwarzenegger, 70, said in 1997 that he had not experienced any discomfort prior to his procedure.
"Choosing to undergo open-heart surgery when I never felt sick was the hardest decision I've ever made," Schwarzenegger said in a statement at that time. "I can now look forward to a long, healthy life with my family."