After experiencing what reports described as symptoms of a “slow heart rate,” former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery this week to have a pacemaker installed, his office confirmed in a statement.
According to The Hill, Pence’s office said the Wednesday surgery was “successful” and that the former VP would be back in tip-top shape “in the coming days.”
“The routine surgery was successful, and he is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days,” the statement read.
In a message of his own after the procedure, Pence thanked the “dedicated health care professionals” on his team. “My family has been truly blessed by [their] work,” he said, according to The Hill.
A clean bill of health?
The news came as a shock to some, given the fact that the former vice president has long been considered to be in generally good health.
Such was the assessment of Pence’s doctor in a letter made public after the Indiana Republican was named as then-candidate Donald Trump’s running mate in 2016, according to Breitbart.
“You live a healthy lifestyle and maintain an excellent diet and exercise program. You do cardiovascular training 4 days per week. Your main form of exercise is bicycling. You also extensively walk and climb stairs,” Dr. Michael F. Blusk wrote at the time.
It was noted, however, that Pence suffered from an “asymptomatic left bundle branch block” in his heart. Fox News reports that, according to the Mayo Clinic, such a condition involves a “delay or blockage of electrical impulses to the left side of the heart,” which can reduce the efficiency of blood flow.
Thus, Pence has received a pacemaker, which will help with regulating those electrical impulses and maintaining the heart’s efficiency.
A look ahead
It remains to be seen if this routine medical procedure will have any impact on Pence’s increasing involvement in the conservative political scene. Notably, the former VP has spent the last few months largely out of the public eye, but the tides seem to finally be turning.
Pence is scheduled to travel to South Carolina to deliver a speech later this month, his first public appearance since leaving office, according to The Hill.
Some have suggested Pence may even be teeing up for a White House bid of his own in 2024.