Bernie Sanders had a procedure for an artery blockage, a rep confirms to CNBC. Per Jeff Weaver, the 2020 Democratic contender "experienced some chest discomfort" while at an event Tuesday. A blockage was discovered in one of the 78-year-old's arteries, and two stents were placed. The AP explains the procedure involves threading a tiny balloon into the blocked artery to expand it so that the stent (a wire mesh tube) can be inserted to maintain the artery's open state.
The stents enter the body via a blood vessel in the groin or wrist; only a small incision is made. The number of stents used relates to the size of the blockage. "Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days," Weaver says. Events and appearances have been canceled pending further notice. In 2016, Sanders' physician noted a history of elevated cholesterol; no mention of heart disease was made. (Read more Bernie Sanders stories.)