Democracy candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign team announced Wednesday that he was canceling all its activities “until further notice”, after undergoing a cardiac surgery to unblock a coronary artery.
A spokesman said the 78-year-old senator from Vermont had asked for a medical assessment after experiencing chest discomfort at an event on Tuesday.
Two stents have been “successfully installed,” it has been added, and Mr. Sanders “is doing well”. His wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, said in an email sent to the Associated Press that he was “really good”.
Mr. Sanders is the oldest candidate for the Democratic nomination. Two other Democratic candidates are over 70 years old, while President Donald Trump is 73 years old. Several Democratic strategists are now wondering if the party would not benefit from joining a new generation of political leaders.
Sanders campaign leader Faiz Shakir participated in a conference call with supporters Tuesday night, but did not mention any health issues. However, he praised the approximately 25 million US dollars collected in the third quarter.
Mr. Sanders had recently canceled some events in South Carolina due to a blackout.
His hospitalization comes as his campaign seeks a new lease of life, after being overshadowed this summer by Senator Elizabeth Warren, 70, as the progressive leader of Democratic candidates. Sanders is now trailing behind Warren and former President Joe Biden in the polls.
The doctors who operated Mr. Sanders first inserted a balloon inside the blocked artery to expand it. They then inserted the stent, a small tube of metal mesh, to prevent it from closing. The number of stents required depends on the size of the obstruction.
Treatment can instantly improve symptoms such as chest pain or difficulty breathing. Stents are inserted through a blood vessel in the groin or wrist, requiring only a very small incision. They are usually coated with a drug that prevents the artery from closing.
The procedure is not without risk, however, and patients are often prescribed an anticoagulant to prevent clot formation in the stent.