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Arnold Schwarzenegger says he got a pacemaker fitted last week

Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed that he underwent surgery last week to get a pacemaker fitted and is “doing great.”

In Monday’s episode of his podcast “Arnold’s Pump Club,” the Hollywood actor and former California governor said, “Last Monday, I had surgery for a pacemaker and became a little bit more of a machine.”

Schwarzenegger said sharing the news “goes against so much of my upbringing in Austria, where nobody ever talked about medical issues. Everything related to healthcare was kept to yourself.”

However, the 76-year-old, who said he was born with a bicuspid aortic valve – a congenital heart defect – said he has received so many messages from people born with the same health condition “telling me that talking about my valve replacement surgeries has given them courage and hope to deal with their own.”

“Since I know that going against my secretive instinct and being transparent helps people, it only feels right to talk about this,” he added.

In 1997, Schwarzenegger underwent a pulmonic valve replacement, which helps blood flow from the heart to the lungs.

In 2018, he then had open-heart surgery to replace the aging pulmonic valve that had been inserted.

Two years later, he had surgery to replace his aortic valve, which helps blood flow out of the heart to the rest of the body.

Schwarzenegger said doctors advised him that it was time to go through with this latest surgery “because some scar tissue from my previous surgery had made my heartbeat irregular. It had been like that for a few years.”

“I’m doing great. I had my surgery on Monday and by Friday I was already at a big environmental event with my friend and fellow fitness crusader Jane Fonda,” Schwarzenegger said.

“Nobody would ever have thought I started the week with a surgery,” he said, thanking the medical team at the Cleveland Clinic.

He added that he has to get regular check-ups and “that’s life with a genetic heart issue. But you won’t hear me complaining.”

“I am still here because of medical innovation and being very diligent about staying in touch with my doctors and listening to them,” he said.

The actor, who last year made his TV series debut in the 2023 Netflix action-adventure “Fubar,” said, “I can’t do my serious training in the gym for a while, but I will be 100% ready for ‘Fubar’ next month.”

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