Former President Bill Clinton arrived home early on Friday following a successful heart procedure at a New York hospital to open a blocked artery in his heart that had caused him chest discomfort.
Television footage show Clinton, who was president from 1993 until 2001, walking to his vehicle as he left the hospital and later arriving home in the New York suburb of Chappaqua.
"President Clinton was released from New York Presbyterian/Columbia this morning in excellent health," Douglas Band, counselor to Clinton, said in a statement.
Clinton, 63, had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004 to free up four blocked arteries, and the latest incident comes after he has traveled twice to Haiti to help recovery efforts after a devastating earthquake there.
"He looks forward in the days ahead to getting back to the work of his foundation, and to Haiti relief and recovery efforts," Band said.
Clinton to return to work
Two stents were placed in one of Clinton's coronary arteries after tests showed that one of the arteries operated on in 2004 needed to be reopened, Dr Allan Schwartz, head of cardiology at Columbia, told reporters.
He said there was no indication Clinton had a heart attack or of any damage to his heart. Schwartz said Clinton could resume his "very active lifestyle" and return to work as soon as Monday. Allan gave the president an "excellent" prognosis.
Clinton's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, arrived at the hospital on Thursday evening, joining daughter Chelsea. A senior administration official said that Secretary Clinton's departure to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, planned for Friday, was delayed to Saturday but that the delay would not affect her meetings in the two countries.
The White House said Clinton told President Barack Obama that he felt "absolutely great" after the procedure.
Having stents placed in heart arteries is a relatively quick and routine procedure among patients like Clinton who have suffered from heart disease. Stents are tiny mesh tubes used to prop open heart arteries that have been cleared of blockages via angioplasty. They are now often coated with drugs to help prevent reclogging.
Clinton, like many Americans, has struggled with his weight.
He presided over eight years of economic prosperity and political tumult during a presidency tarnished by a sex-and-perjury scandal that led to his impeachment and a bitter fight to stay in office. While in office he was known for his love of burgers and junk food and was also seen regularly jogging.
After his 2004 operation he looked fitter than while he was president - something he attributed to the South Beach diet, which excludes processed foods and favors lean meat.
Just before his 2004 surgery, Clinton spoke on CNN's "Larry King Live," about his heart blockage: "Some of this is genetic and I may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate ... I've got a problem and I've got a chance to deal with it," Clinton said. - (Reuters Health, February 2010)