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Abbas Undergoes Heart Surgery - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Abbas leaves Hospital

Abbas leaves Hospital

AMMAN, Jordan,AP-Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas left an Amman hospital Thursday, smiling and saying he felt fine hours after undergoing a successful heart procedure.

&#34Things are just fine and I”m in very good health,&#34 Abbas, 69, said as he left the hospital dressed in a black suit.

Abbas told Jordanian state television he was due to leave Friday for the West Bank.

Earlier, Palestinian officials said he was leaving Thursday, but Palestinian National Council speaker Salim Zaanoun said Abbas was &#34relaxing in Amman today and he will leave for home tomorrow.&#34 He added Abbas had no meetings scheduled for Thursday.

Abbas” top aide, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, said Wednesday the Palestinian leader had complained of fatigue and undergone angioplasty, a procedure to clear out clogged coronary arteries. Abbas said he had undergone &#34a routine examination, but I did not feel tired or complain of anything.&#34

Two Jordanian doctors who examined Abbas said he had not had angioplasty, but a coronary angiogram, also known as catheterization — a common procedure to ensure the arteries are not clogged. The discrepancy could not immediately be explained.

Dr. Abdullah al-Bashir, who routinely examines Abbas and attended Wednesday”s procedure, said a stenting procedure that Abbas had a few years ago also was examined. Stents are tiny mesh tubes threaded into arteries to keep blood flowing smoothly.

&#34Mr. Abbas feels well and he”s in an excellent condition,&#34 al-Bashir told The Associated Press before Abbas was discharged from the hospital.

&#34The procedure went fine and was successful,&#34 he said. Another doctor said &#34no clogged arteries were found and the heart appeared to be functioning very well.&#34

&#34It was a routine catheterization to make sure the arteries are not clogged,&#34 al-Bashir said.

The other doctor, who refused to be identified because he didn”t want to be seen as interfering in Palestinian affairs, said the procedure involved inserting a tube in the blood vessel and injecting dye to measure how well the heart valve and heart muscle function.

Jordanian officials and Iraqi diplomats were among Abbas” visitors at the hospital.

Abbas joked and smiled as he left the hospital, brushing aside speculation on his health.

Asked whether he had quit smoking, Abbas answered with a smile: &#34Since when have you seen me smoke? I”m not a smoker.&#34

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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