Mike Pence’s office said the former vice president is “expected to fully recover” after undergoing surgery at a Virginia hospital Wednesday to have a pacemaker installed in his heart.
According to CBS News, a statement from Pence’s office said “the routine surgery was successful, and he is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days.”
A successful surgery
According to Breitbart, Pence elected to undergo the procedure after he began experiencing “symptoms associated with a slow heart rate.”
The former vice president, who also served as governor of Indiana and as a U.S. congressman for the state, had warm words of praise for his medical team following the operation.
“My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated healthcare professionals,” he said, according to Breitbart.
Pence’s health history
In September 2016, Pence made public a letter from his doctor that described him as living “a healthy lifestyle” that included “an excellent diet and exercise program.”
“You do cardiovascular training four days per week,” read the letter, which was authored by Pence’s then-physician, Michael F. Busk. “Your main form of exercise is bicycling. You also extensively walk and climb stairs.”
However, the letter also acknowledged that Pence suffered from a left bundle branch block in his heart, a condition that was said to be asymptomatic at the time, as Breitbart noted.
Eyeing the White House?
Pence has kept a relatively low profile of late, with news of his surgery representing one of few times that the former VP has been in the headlines since leaving office earlier this year. There has been speculation that this could change, though, as many observers expect Pence to play an outsized role in GOP efforts to take back Congress in the 2022 midterms — or even make a bid for the presidency in 2024.
“Anybody who can pull off an endorsement of Ted Cruz and become Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee should not be counted out,” Republican strategist and former Cruz campaign staffer Alice Stewart told the Associated Press last month.
Indiana Rep. Jim Banks (R) also seemed hopeful that Pence would throw his hat back into the political ring. “I think 2024’s a long time away and if Mike Pence runs for president he will appeal to the Republican base in a way that will make him a strong contender,” Banks said, according to the AP.
“If and when Mike Pence steps back up to the plate, I think he will have strong appeal among Republicans nationwide,” the congressman added.