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Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals Major Surgery That Made Him 'A Little Bit More Of A Machine'

Arnold Schwarzenegger disclosed that he had open-heart surgery just last week.

The “Terminator” star, who has undergone several cardiac procedures before, announced Monday in his fitness-related newsletter, “Arnold’s Pump Club,” that he now has a pacemaker — and has become “a little bit more of a machine.”

“Last Monday, I had surgery to become a little bit more of a machine: I got a pacemaker,” he wrote in the newsletter, per ET. “I have to tell you, just saying this to all of you goes against so much of my upbringing in Austria, where nobody — ever — talked about medical issues.”

“Everything related to healthcare was kept to yourself,” Schwarzenegger, 76, continued.

The actor has been open about his bicuspid aortic valves, however, which according to Johns Hopkins Medicine is “a type of abnormality in the aortic valve in the heart.” Schwarzenegger said Monday that both his mother and grandmother died from this.

The former California governor reflected last year on a botched procedure from 2018, when he was supposed to receive a “noninvasive” aortic valve replacement — but a mistake mid-surgery led his doctors to perform open-heart surgery.

The former bodybuilding champion, whose lifelong genetic condition resulted in an irregular heartbeat, wrote Monday that he first got his valves replaced in 1997. Schwarzenegger explained that, at the time, his only option was open-heart surgery.

Schwarzenegger has undergone corrective surgeries for his lifelong condition since 1997.
Schwarzenegger has undergone corrective surgeries for his lifelong condition since 1997. Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press

“They told me both valves would last 12 to 15 years,” Schwarzenegger recalled in his newsletter, per ET. “Dr. Starnes did a wonderful job, and they made it 21 years, so by the time I went in for replacement in 2018, the non-invasive option was available.”

The actor added “there was a little screwup at the hospital,” however, spurring his second open-heart surgery — during which he only got one of the two valves replaced. The other one was replaced in a noninvasive matter at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in 2020.

Schwarzenegger was informed afterwards that he’d need a pacemaker, however, and was told during a recent checkup that time was of the essence. Before signing off Monday, he urged his readers — who comprise what he calls a “village” — not to be afraid.

“I could have kept it a secret,” he wrote, per ET. “But I know that we have more than 750,000 subscribers now ( … the village is a city now!), and a lot of you are probably dealing with your own health challenges. I want you to know you aren’t alone.”

“There are weights that none of us can lift alone,” he said.

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