Barbara Walters to Undergo Heart Surgery

Barbara Walters announces that she must replace a faulty heart valve.

BySheila Marikar
May 10, 2010, 11:19 AM

May 10, 2010 — -- After years of the television grind, Barbara Walters is taking some time off for her health.

Walters announced on the "The View" today that she will undergo surgery to replace a faulty heart valve later this week.

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"You know how I always say to you how healthy I am. ... I've never missed a day's work," she began. "Later this week, I'm going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve. Lots of people have done this and I have known about this condition for a while now."

Walters added that she and her doctors decided to go through with the surgery now because she'll be able to take time off to recover during the summer. While she hasn't "felt differently" lately, an echocardiogram showed that her valves were "getting tighter and smaller," she said

ABC News president David Westin said in statement, "There's no denying that this is serious surgery. But it's also a type of surgery that has been done often and successfully. And, as those of us who work with Barbara know, she's in excellent condition. So, we have every reason to expect a great result and a speedy recovery."

Walters said she anticipates recovery will take at least a month but she expects "to be calling in from time to time."

"I don't think I'm really scared," she concluded. "I'm glad it's going to be over with."

Walters, 80, created "The View" in 1997 and has been a fixture on the ABC daytime talk show since its inception. She served as co-host of ABC News' "20/20" for 25 years and continues to contribute special broadcasts to the network.

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