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Arnold Schwarzenegger has undergone emergency open-heart surgery after a failed valve replacement procedure, it was reported on Friday.
TMZ, which broke the news, citing sources close to the 70-year-old Terminator star, said the former governor of California went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Thursday to have a scheduled catheter valve replacement.
The procedure is said to be risky, and the seven-time Mr Olympia winner developed complications, leading to an emergency open-heart surgery that reportedly lasted several hours.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 70, underwent a minimally invasive procedure called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which opens narrowed valves are blocking bloodflow.
However, he suffered complications which led to emergency open heart surgery.
He is now stable.
WHO NEEDS A TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT (TAVR)?
TAVR operations are performed on people with a condition called aortic stenosis, a narrowing of a heart valve.
Aortic stenosis causes heart weakness, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, heart murmurs or enlarged hearts. It can lead to heart failure and/or premature death.
Those with a mild case of this condition (who barely show symptoms) do not need treatment. Only severe cases (which do show symptoms) require surgery.
In those severe cases, either open-heart surgery or a TAVR can be performed to replace a narrowed valve in the heart.
WHY TAVR INSTEAD OF OPEN-HEART SURGERY?
TAVR operations are often used as a safer bet for people who may have risks with open-heart surgery.
This includes people who have already undergone a valve replacement, as Schwarzenegger did in Mexico in 1997. At the time, he told reporters he'd had no symptoms but elected to get operated in an abundance of caution.
The high-risk bracket also includes patients who show severe symptoms of aortic stenosis. Severe symptoms suggest the person has a high risk of succumbing to their condition if not operated on soon.
Finally, doctors will also endorse a TAVR over open-heart surgery if the patient suffers from other debilitating conditions, like lung disease and kidney disease.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Though the operation is minimally-invasive, it carries a high risk of death, largely because it is performed on high-risk patients:
DailyMail.com reached out to Creative Artists Agency seeking comment from Schwarzenegger's publicist and was awaiting a reply.
The veteran action star went in for surgery in 1997 to replace an aortic valve. According to the American Heart Association, the valve closes off the lower left chamber of the heart that holds the oxygen-rich blood before it is pumped out to the body, and it opens to allow blood to leave the heart.
'I've never felt sick or had any symptoms at all, but I knew I'd have to take care of this condition sooner or later,' Schwarzenegger said in a statement after the operation, according to the Los Angeles Times. 'I said to the doctors, "Let's do it now, while I'm young and healthy." They agreed this was the way to go.'
Aortic valve replacement is a procedure in which a patient's leaky, or partially block aortic valve is replaced with an artificial heart valve.
The actor's spokesperson said a the time that he had a congenital, hereditary condition that had nothing to do with steroid, which Schwarzenegger had admitted to using during his time as a world-class bodybuilder.
Young and buff: Schwarzenegger poses during the 38th Cannes film festival (left), where he presented the documentary Pumping Iron. Pictured right: Schwarzenegger poses for a portrait on Venice Beach in August 1977
Schwarzenegger's latest sighting was in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, when he was spotted puffing on a cigar in a friend's car while leaving the Waldorf Astoria Hotel after having lunch with son Patrick in Beverly Hills.
The outspoken actor and politician appeared on CNN last weekend to talk about the future of the Republican Party in the age of Donald Trump, saying that the GOP is 'dying at the box office.'
The previous Sunday, the Austrian-born Predator star made an appearance at an amateur bodybuilding competition as part of the 2018 The Arnold Sports Festival in Melbourne, Australia.
Father-son quality time: Schwarzenegger is often photographed with his actor son Patrick. In January, the pair donned lederhosen during a visit to Austria (left). In an Instagram post on July 30, 2017, Patrick wished his famous dad happy 70th birthday (right)
Schwarzenegger appeared buff and well-tanned, and happily posed with fans for pictures.
In a recent interview he gave in Australia, Schwarzenegger said his age is just a number to him.
'I don't even think that I'm 70, I know I'm 70, but so what?' he told The Project. 'It's only on my passport or my driver's licence, but I feel the same way as I did 20 years ago.'
'I feel good about myself. I work out. I make my movies. Life is great. I feel useful and productive,' he added.
According to Schwarzenegger's IMDB page, the Hollywood heavyweight has a half-dozen film and TV projects in the works, including the action flick Viy 2: Journey to China co-starring Jackie Chan and an untitled Terminator reboot.
The divorced Conan the Barbarian alum has five children, including his son Patrick, who has followed his father's footsteps into acting and is currently starring in the new drama Midnight Sun opposite Bella Thorne.