Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu underwent emergency surgery to have heart pacemaker implanted

July 23, 2023
Ben Marquis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a health-related incident last weekend that was first chalked up to dehydration but nonetheless resulted in brief hospitalization and the implantation of a device to monitor his heart.

According to Netanyahu himself, that device recently indicated the need for a pacemaker and he was immediately taken to a hospital for an emergency surgical procedure to address his cardiac issue, the Daily Wire reported.

The outlet noted that Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin would briefly assume the role of acting prime minister while Netanyahu was undergoing surgery and recovering from the relatively normal procedure to install a pacemaker device.

Emergency surgery

In a video clip posted to Twitter Sunday morning in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu said in Hebrew, "I want to update you on what’s going to happen."

"Last week they gave me a monitoring device. The device beeped and said I need a pacemaker, and I need to do that already tonight. I feel great, but I listen to my doctors," he continued.

Netanyahu added, "The doctors tell me that I will be free tomorrow afternoon already. I will be discharged from the hospital ready to arrive at the Knesset for the vote."

Pacemaker installed

The Times of Israel reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu underwent surgery Sunday morning at the Sheba Medical Center to have a cardiac pacing device, better known as a pacemaker, implanted under his skin near the collarbone to help electronically regulate the rate and rhythm of his heartbeat.

That procedure was deemed necessary following an alert received from an implantable loop recorder that was installed last weekend at the same hospital to monitor his cardiac activity. That implantation came along with the revelation that Netanyahu has a history of "heart conduction problems" that had not been previously disclosed to the public.

"The prime minister came to Sheba Medical Center last week because he had a fainting episode," the Sheba Medical Center's director of the Davidai Center for Rhythm Disturbances and Pacing, Prof. Roy Beinart, said in a Sunday statement. "And since he had a conduction disorder that we’ve known about many years, we decided to perform an electrophysiological study, which is a kind of catheterization that assesses the conduction system."

"Data we received last night from the monitor suggested transient atrioventricular block, and this was an indication for urgent pacemaker implantation," he added.

The Times proceeded to explain how pacemakers work with a small battery-powered and computer-controlled pulse generator device that is connected to the heart via leads with electrodes that monitor cardiac activity and, when necessary, send an electric signal to the heart to regulate it if a slow or irregular heart rate is detected.

Surgery was reportedly a success

Fox News reported that according to a joint statement from the hospital and the prime minister's office, the surgery was a success and Netanyahu is expected to fully recover.

"The procedure is over. The PM feels fine, he will stay for a few hours at the hospital and will be discharged later today," the joint statement said.

The outlet noted that Netanyahu was briefly hospitalized last weekend after he felt ill and fainted following a day out in the sun amid a heat wave without any protection or water at the Sea of Galilee, after which a series of routine tests were performed and the heart monitor was implanted as a precaution, which in turn has now resulted in the installation of a pacemaker.

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