Cyprus president to undergo heart operation

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, 68, needs to undergo open heart surgery to repair a valve, the government announced on today.

Nicosia: Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, 68, needs to undergo open heart surgery to repair a valve, the government announced on today.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the president underwent a routine check-up on Tuesday when it was discovered he needed surgery.

The operation to repair a narrowing of the mitral valve, an open heart procedure, will be carried out "shortly", he said in a brief statement.

Damage to the mitral valve, the "inflow valve" for the left side of the heart, is not considered a life-threatening condition and repair is normally carried out using a catheter with a balloon on the end.

Anastasiades was taken ill last month at an EU summit in Brussels suffering from high blood pressure and a nose bleed.

The conservative leader was elected president in February 2013, just days before Cyprus had to negotiate a painful USD 12.5 billion bailout with international lenders.

He is credited with steering the country from near-bankruptcy and ensuring the economy did not suffer a double-digit recession.

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