Dick Cheney Has Heart Pump Implanted Former VP recuperating after surgery By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Jul 14, 2010 4:53 PM CDT 36 comments Comments In this Feb. 18, 2010, file photo, former Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) (Newser) – Dick Cheney is recovering after another serious heart procedure. The former vice president had a pump implanted that "improves heart function and will enable me to return to an active life," he said in a statement. The device, called a Left Ventricular Assist Device, is used only for patients with severe heart failure, a doctor not involved with the procedure tells CNN. "A few weeks ago, it became clear that I was entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure," said Cheney's statement. "The operation went very well and I am now recuperating." Cheney has suffered five heart attacks, the first when he was 37.