Cheney Will Have Heart Procedure

Veep may require electrical impulse to clear up fibrillation
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 4:17 PM CST
Vice President Dick Cheney stands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2007, as President Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, not shown, met. Cheney, who has...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Dick Cheney has an irregular heartbeat and may need to have an electrical impulse delivered to his heart. The VP visited his doctor this morning complaining of a lingering cough, Reuters reports, and was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which a Cheney spokeswoman described as "an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart."

Cheney would probably be put under sedation for the procedure, the standard treatment for atrial fibrillation. Even if he has to go under, the VP will likely be able to return home after the procedure, according to the spokeswoman. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to clot inside the heart, which can cause a stroke.