Pat Robertson Undergoes Heart Surgery

Associated Press/August 31, 2009

Virginia Beach, Virginia - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson underwent 10 hours of surgery to repair a heart disorder and is back in Virginia recovering, a spokesman said Monday.

"He's really doing well, recovering very quickly," spokesman Chris Roslan said of the 79-year-old founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network. "He's doing great."

Mr. Robertson, who has scaled back his official activities in recent years, was treated Aug. 19 at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for atrial fibrillation. He was released last Thursday, Mr. Roslan said.

Mr. Robertson underwent convergent procedure, which involves cauterizing the continually beating heart muscle with heat generated by a radio frequency. The procedure is less invasive than traditional heart surgery and uses four small openings to hasten recovering time.

During the surgery, doctors also discovered an abnormally enlarged left appendage on Mr. Robertson's heart. They believe the appendage, which was removed, was the cause of Mr. Robertson's atrial fibrillation.

"Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth," Mr. Robertson said in a statement.

He said he expects to resume a full schedule in several weeks.

Mr. Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs programs in nearly 100 languages in more than 225 countries. Its flagship program, the "700 Club" talk show, reaches 1 million American households daily.

Earlier this year, CBN's board of directors appointed Gordon Robertson to succeed his father as CBN's chief executive officer.

Mr. Robertson also announced plans to retire next summer as president of Regent University, the private Christian college he founded in 1978. He will continue to serve as chancellor and on the board of trustees at the Virginia Beach school known for its evangelical Christian perspective.

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