Washington, Feb 13 (DPA) Former president Bill Clinton has said he was recovering well after undergoing a heart procedure for a blocked artery.
"Actually I'm doing very well. I feel very blessed," Clinton told reporters outside his home in Chappaqua, New York, where he had been resting since leaving hospital Friday morning.
Clinton, 63, said he began feeling a "tingling, not pain" in his chest four days earlier and contacted his cardiologist. The former president underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, but said he was never particularly worried about the follow-up procedure.
"They know what they're doing," Clinton said. "I felt it was kind of a repair job."
Clinton was admitted Thursday to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital, where he had two stents placed in one of his coronary arteries. He left the hospital early Friday.
Clinton said he took no sedatives and was awake for the entire procedure: "I was alert and I wanted to watch it."
The former president has remained an active and prominent public figure since leaving the White House in 2001, most recently serving as the United Nations' special envoy for Haiti. But Clinton has had repeated health concerns since leaving office.
Allan Schwartz, the hospital's head of cardiology, told reporters that one of the bypasses was completely blocked, requiring the stents. He said Clinton had been up and walking within two hours of the procedure and should be able to get to work next week.
"I expect president Clinton to resume his very active lifestyle," Schwartz said.
Clinton's daughter Chelsea and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were by his side in New York, though the State Department said Hillary Clinton would leave Saturday for a planned trip to the Middle East.
Schwartz said the blockage was unrelated to the former president's workload. Clinton made two trips to earthquake-ravaged Haiti in the last month and joined forces with former president George W Bush to gather donations for the impoverished Caribbean country.
Clinton teamed up in a similar effort with his predecessor and Bush's father, George HW Bush, to raise money following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed hundreds of thousand of people, mostly in Indonesia.
He was also prominent on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, stumping for wife Hillary, who narrowly lost the Democratic nomination to President Barack Obama.
The former president runs the Clinton Foundation, which focuses on development issues around the globe.