Pryor's Heart Surgery Declared a Success

OCTOBER 12, 2006 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A heart surgeon who operated on former U.S. Senator David Pryor says his patient should be walking around by tomorrow and at home next week.  Doctors at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock said Pryor's quadruple-bypass surgery yesterday was successful.

The two-term Arkansas governor and three-term senator checked himself into the hospital on Monday after suffering chest pains.

Joining the doctors at a news conference yesterday was Pryor's son, current Senator Mark Pryor.  They said the elder Pryor was resting in the hospital's intensive care unit after the six-hour procedure.  Dr. Tamin Antakli, who operated on Pryor, said the former senator did extremely well during the surgery.

Antakli said doctors did not encounter any complications during the procedure.  He said Pryor's rehabilitation from the surgery will take about six weeks.  The surgeon said there are no contributing factors that may have led to the blockage other than Pryor's previous heart surgery.

Antakli said Pryor was in extremely good shape for his age, calling him "one of the healthiest 72-year-olds I've operated on."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)