After experiencing chest pain during his campaign last Tuesday, presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, 78, was scheduled for an emergency heart surgery. During the procedure, the senator received coronary stents—small metal mesh devices that help restore normal blood flow to the heart muscle and prevent blockages in these arteries.
“Generally speaking, age doesn’t really affect the recovery a lot,” Craig A. Thompson, MD, director of interventional cardiology and the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at NYU Langone Health, tells ABC News.
Although major artery blockages can eventually lead to a heart attack, experts say this may not always be the case. Dr. Thompson, who performs hundreds of stent procedures each year, says that most patients without major issues are typically discharged within 24 hours of the procedure.
“I would expect that he’s back at it. An otherwise healthy 78-year-old can recover as fast or more quickly than a man or woman in their 60s who has other illnesses,” says Dr. Thompson.
Read more from ABC News.