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McConnell undergoes heart surgery

Second U.S. senator to have heart operation in four days

Sen. Mitch McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Mitch McConnell underwent triple heart bypass surgery Monday because of some blocked arteries. A statement from his office described the operation as a success and said the Kentucky Republican -- who turns 61 in about three weeks -- should make a full recovery.

McConnell is the second U.S. senator to have heart surgery in less than a week. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, is recovering from surgery Friday to replace a deteriorating heart valve.

Both men are staying at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

"Senator McConnell this morning underwent a successful triple bypass procedure," said Dr. Alan Speir, in a statement released by McConnell's office. "It was uneventful and totally satisfactorily performed. It is anticipated that his post-operative course will be uncomplicated, and the prognosis for full and unrestricted recovery is excellent."

Speir, the clinical chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the medical center, performed the operation.

The arterial blockages were discovered during a routine cardiovascular screening test, suggested by the Capitol physician, according to the statement.

The statement noted that McConnell not only consulted with Speir but with a fellow senator -- Republican Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader who is also a heart surgeon.

McConnell is perhaps best known for his opposition to the new campaign finance reform law championed by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

McConnell is married to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

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