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Cheney Returns to Work

Doctors inserted the pacemaker as a precautionary measure after a series of tests showed that he had an occasional irregular heartbeat.

Cheney, who has a history of heart disease, said today that he was “a little tender in the shoulder,” but added, “It’ll pass.”

Cheney underwent the operation to implant the dual-purpose pacemaker on Saturday morning at George Washington University Hospital. He was able to return home that day to rest soon after the hour-long procedure.

Cheney has had four heart attacks since 1978. In 1988 he had quadruple bypass surgery to clear clogged arteries. In March of this year, doctors performed a balloon angioplasty to open a closing artery.

Back at work

Back at the White House, Cheney focused on defending the administration’s energy strategy which will be debated in the House after the July 4th recess.

“He is such a good example for Americans who may share the same condition he has,” President Bush told reporters,” and that is to listen to your body, to take precautionary measures, and to be active.”

On Thursday, Cheney expects to fly to his home in Wyoming, where he often relaxes and spends time fly-fishing. Cheney’s doctors have said he should continue exercising, but should stay away from upper body exercise while the incision heals.

The pacemaker, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, is about the size of a small pager and is placed under the skin of the upper chest,

An I.C.D. is able to interrupt rapid heart rhythms.

“If the device detects an arrhythmia, it can terminate the abnormal rhythm with either a pacemaker function or the delivery of a low-energy electrical shock,” Cheney’s cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Samuel Reiner said.

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