WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim Inhofe underwent emergency heart surgery in Tulsa on Friday after a routine test showed extreme blockage in five arteries. Inhofe had quadruple bypass surgery and was hospitalized at St. John Medical Center.
The Tulsa Republican said in an interview from the hospital Monday he felt great and was expecting to go home Tuesday. He said he'd return to Washington as soon as possible.
Inhofe, 78, said he has never had any kind of heart trouble and hadn't felt any symptoms of the blocked arteries.
The senator said he had a virtual colonoscopy last week. After a doctor looked at the results, he told Inhofe “your colon is fine but you have a heart problem.”
After seeing a specialist in Washington, who advised immediate open-heart surgery, Inhofe decided to have the surgery in Tulsa so his children and grandchildren could visit him, the senator said.
Two of his arteries had 100 percentage blockage, two had 90 percent blockage and another had 75 percent, Inhofe said.
He called the surgery a success and said he was walking around his hospital floor Monday while talking on the phone.
“I feel great,” he said.
The fact that he kept up a busy schedule with some of his arteries blocked makes him think he'll come back even stronger, he said.
“I'm going to be an Olympian,” he said.
Inhofe said it would be a few days before it is safe to fly on an airplane and he wasn't interested in driving back to Washington while recuperating.
It is not clear when the Senate will hold more roll call votes regarding the partial government shutdown. Activity since the shutdown began on Oct. 1 has been mostly limited to parliamentary motions.
Inhofe was first elected to the Senate in 1994 and is seeking another term.
I feel great. I'm going to be an Olympian.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe,